My latest Street.com column, "Analysts Still Underestimate Apple is up at RM. It was written at the same time as Wall Street Remains Clueless as Ever as to Apple’s Products from earlier this week.
Here’s an excerpt:
Amongst the larger brokers, there have been very few Apple bulls. Notable exceptions being Merrill Lynch’s Steve Milunovich, Andrew Neff of Bear Stearns, and Charlie Wolf at Needham & Co. (formerly of Credit Suisse First Boston and UBS). To their credit, many of the smaller boutique firms have had buys on Apple for quite some time and RealMoney.com contributor Cody Willard also deserves credit for his long-standing bullishness on the stock.
Still, the bulk of the sell-side chatter before Apple’s earnings was unenthusiastic, forcing many analysts Thursday to play catch-up with upgrades and raised price targets. I cannot say I am surprised.
Just last year, we heard from PC analysts at bulge bracket firms suggesting that Apple:
Sell itself to Sony;
Start using Intel chips; and
Put out Windows-compatible machines.
Fortunately, the company laughed off the suggestions.
Even with the introduction of a low-cost Apple PC, I do not expect most of the analytical community to suddenly find religion. This is part of a long-term misunderstanding of Apple by the Street. Many people don’t get Apple; they sure haven’t been able to figure out Steve Jobs. And since all but one of them work primarily on a Windows machine, they never really understood what all the fuss was about.
Expect Apple to continue generating outsized buzz. For a company’s whose marketshare is 2%, their "mindshare" is disproportionately huge. The full repurcussions of this story may not be fully realized for several years.
Analysts Still Underestimate Apple
1/13/2005 1:11 PM EST