Apple lower on Barclays downgrade. Tesla's Musk confirms talks.

|About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)|By:, SA News Editor

Barclays' Ben Reitzes, a staunch Apple (AAPL -1%) bull for years, has downgraded shares to Equalweight, albeit while maintaining his $570 PT.

Reitzes thinks Apple will be in a trading range for the next year due to a maturing smartphone market and the margin impact of adding new iPhone features such as "sapphire glass, curved glass, and new batteries."

He also compares Apple's current valuation to Microsoft's from 2000-2010, and argues there's "no precedent that large-size tech companies simply start to broadly outperform again after a tough year or two if the law of large numbers is catching up to them and margins have peaked."

Meanwhile, Tesla (TSLA +8.2%) founder/CEO Elon Musk has confirmed a recent report that he met with Apple's management, but declines to comment on whether "any kind of acquisition" was discussed.

The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported Musk met with Apple M&A chief Adrian Perica and "probably" Tim Cook last April. It's worth noting Tesla shares traded at a fraction of current levels at the time; the EV maker's current market cap is $26B.

Many observers have drawn comparisons between Apple and Tesla in the past. An Apple board member has claimed Steve Jobs dreamed of designing an iCar.