“Wall Street analysts have missed the boat on Apple’s big stock move. So why listen to them now? Apple is the Rodney Dangerfield of the technology industry. No respect,” writes Paul R. La Monica for CNN/Money?

“Even though the company’s iTunes online music store is doing boffo business and its new Power Mac G5 has been met with mostly great reviews, the consensus rating among Wall Street analysts for Apple’s stock is a 2.9, according to First Call,” writes La Monica. “Ratings go from 1 (a Strong Buy) to 5 (a Strong Sell). So this is essentially a Hold recommendation which, as most investors know, is a nice way of saying Sell. Only two of the 14 analysts that track the stock rate it a Buy.”

“‘Apple has always been the oddball in the computer industry but without question they come out with the best products and they have so much cash. I’m a big fan,’ said Matthew Kelmon, president of Kelmoore Investment Co, which owns 100,000 shares of Apple,” reports La Monica.

“The criticism that Wall Street consistently makes when evaluating Apple’s prospects is that it’s a niche company that will never supplant Microsoft. Well, no kidding. Only the most delusional of Mac freaks still hold onto the dream that most of Corporate America will one day wake up and decide to get rid of their Windows-powered PCs and switch to a Mac,” La Monica writes. “But Apple doesn’t need to change the world. It can coexist with Microsoft (a Windows version of iTunes is due out by the end of the year) and is slowly but surely becoming more than just a cultish PC company.”

La Monica explains, “Of course, investors should be more wary of the stock now since it has enjoyed such a sizable spurt in a relatively short period of time. But don’t look to Wall Street analysts for clues to Apple’s future. They just don’t get it.”

Full article here.