KeyBanc cut its rating for Apple from overweight to sector weight late Tuesday. The company cited the high valuation of the shares as well as the expectation of soft growth in the United States. Analyst Brandon Nispel wrote: “We expect key markets like the U.S. will remain soft and we see the stock trading with rich multiples.” This puts pressure on Intl to grow. He stated that the stock was trading at “nearly [all-time high] and a substantial premium to the Nasdaq against.” history.” Nispel stated that Apple is trading at a 7.1-times premium to Nasdaq, based on the enterprise value to earnings prior to interest, taxes and depreciation. Analyst Nispel noted that the stock traded at 2.7x premium to Nasdaq based on enterprise value to free-cash flow. Nispel wrote that in order to justify an increase in AAPL’s shares, either peak valuations must be applied or the growth profile of AAPL needs to improve. KeyBanc expects a soft growth in Americas, citing that 37% of Apple’s revenue is generated by the U.S. Nispel stated that “we expect the U.S. will experience its fourth consecutive year-over-year decline in F4Q23. This could potentially carry over into F124 due to several reasons.” Nispel predicts softness in the U.S. carrier market, with phone upgrade rates trending towards all-time lows and iPhone promotions being geared toward more expensive phone plans. The firm predicts a 3.5% revenue increase in fiscal 2024, compared with a consensus estimate of over 6%. Nispel predicts iPhone revenues will decline by 2.2% in 2020 and increase by 2.1% in 2024. The analyst said, “We expect margins will also improve at a lower pace in the coming years.” Apple shares have risen by nearly 33% in the past year. Michael Bloom, CNBC’s reporter, contributed to this report.