Apple doomsayer fired

“It’s been three years since Berenberg Bank analyst began predicting doom for Apple, setting a split-adjusted price target of $60 a share and—five months later—flipped the stock’s rating from Buy to Sell,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“This spring, with the iPhone 6 selling like hotcakes and the stock trading above $124, Ahmad raised his target (to $85) but not his rating,” P.E.D. reports. “‘We sense,’ he wrote, ‘that the company is over-earning, over-loved and, in our view, the stock should be ‘over-and-out’ soon.'”

“I took a whack at Ahmad a couple months ago, quoting at length from ‘Apple: Ticking Time Bomb’ — a note he sent clients at the end of October,” P.E.D. reports. “Now I feel bad… [Adnaan Ahmad has been let go by Berenberg.]”

Read more in the full article, with the current price targets of nearly 40 Apple analysts, here.

MacDailyNews Take: So, is this a very rare case of accountability or is it just plain accounting?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David E.” for the heads up.]

20 Comments

    1. If you believe that then you are a fool. Most stock prices have very little if anything to do with what shareholders think of the company and much more to do with analyst manipulations. Brokers want a volatile market, the more people trade the more money they make. If people feel good keeping their money in a stock for a long time the brokers make less money.

      1. Stocks are always priced EXACTLY what they are. The fool here would be someone who would pay $160 for a stock that many others are willing to sell at $107. Think about it for a while.

        Apple has not convinced the stock buying public that AAPL will rise in value and there are many naysayers out there trying to pull AAPL down. Regardless of what other stocks go for and their ‘technicals’ say, AAPL is moribund because most people can’t believe that Apple strives for excellence and is not about cheap junk and poor user experience. These qualities are beyond most people’s experience and belief systems.

        1. You are both right and wrong, the general stock buying public doesn’t know what Apple strives for, that being said most people are sheep and follow what they are told, they mistakenly think their broker has their best interest in mind. If their broker says the Apple stock they have is going to fall and they should sell they do and if they say Apple is going to climb and they should buy they do. They have no idea that the company continues to beat projections every quarter and grow. Most of the market is moved by broker and analyst manipulation and those chasing the quick buck.

      2. For AAPL it is more believable that individual shareholders are moving the stock since only 55.9% of outstanding shares is institutionally owned.. To put this in perspective here are institutional ownership percentages for some other tech companies GOOG (76.2); AMZN (66.3); FB (67.5); MSFT (71.0)..

  1. Those who do not learn the lesson that Apple isn’t like other companies (over & over) get what they richly deserve.

    It’s like they cannot believe with their eyes the consistent love Apple gets therefore they must fail. They should call them Irrationalysts.

  2. Don’t know why P.E.D feels bad, this guy was bad at his job, I wonder how much money he cost his clients with his bad advice. If P.E.D had any impact on this guy getting fired then he did the clients a great service.

  3. Never listen to financial analysts. They make money by getting you to trade.
    Now if the analysts only made money when you did maybe that would change the game.
    As for Apple’s stock price, the market keeps the stock in a range from 105 to 120. Plenty of money to be made getting people to buy in and sell out.

  4. AAPL is at a PE of 11.65
    GOOGL is at 36.52
    AMZN is at 972

    Apple profits will grow more in 2016 than GOOGL and AMZN combined x 3, but the stock is priced for 1/3 the growth of GOOGL.

    This is a statistical anomaly that cannot hold, esp. given the amount of Cash on hand approaching 1/2 the market value unless AAPL continues to break all the rules for the valuation of a tech company.

    1. You forgot Microsoft’s P/E of 37.55. It’s hard to believe that both Apple and Microsoft started the year 2015 at very similar P/E ratios. Microsoft’s P/E ended up soaring but Apple’s P/E is slumping like like an anemic baseball player. Everything Microsoft does is right and everything Apple does is wrong. One could almost believe that Apple’s entire financial management team is hugely incompetent.

      All analysts see when they look at Apple is a dying company. Apple is unable to touch its overseas cash without a huge tax burden. There is no product to take over declining iPhone sales. Loyal Apple shareholders are as good as done for in 2016 as Apple comes up empty for another year. With Wall Street it’s all about the future and supposedly Apple has none.

  5. Analyst Adnaan Ahmad, formerly from Berenberg Bank, will be forever memorialized at the Apple Death Knell Counter as death knell number 68.

    Apple Death Knell #68
    Apple Too Reliant on iPhones, Stock Will Collapse to $60 – Feb 27, 2015

    Relevant Quote:
    As this accelerated replacement cycle slows down, iPhone volumes will turn negative in terms of growth. As we have also stated, there is, in our view, a limit to how much share Apple can take at the high-end, and its price premium and recent hike must narrow over time, as it has done in the consumer electronic space (even for Apple’s other products — iPod, iPad and Mac).

    Fare Thee Poorly! 😥

  6. Imagine if weather forecasters operated like financial analysts: “For the next month it’s expected to rain every day — good time to buy an umbrella” . . . You then buy an umbrella. You encounter drought-like conditions and never use the umbrella . . . One day you bump into the forecaster at a party. You say, “You’re the worst weather forecaster ever!” It didn’t rain a single day!” . . . He then whispers in your ear, “Don’t tell anyone, but I’m not really a weather forecaster—I’m an umbrella salesman.”

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