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Doomsaying Apple Analyst Loses Job

Philip Elmer-DeWitt:

It’s been three years since Berenberg Bank analyst Adnaan Ahmad 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.

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. “We sense,” he wrote, “that the company is over-earning, over-loved and, in our view, the stock should be ‘over-and-out’ soon.”

Email from Ahmad this morning:

As you may already know, Daud Khan and I have unfortunately been let go at Berenberg. It has been a pleasure debating and discussing the sector with you all. I have strived to be as honest, independent and give a high level of integrity in my research as possible throughout my career. As many of you know, my views have been controversial in the global tech space and I have taken a fair amount of abuse but I have enjoyed the two way dialogue immensely.

Where by “controversial” he means “totally wrong”.

Ahmad can take solace in the fact that his record doesn’t hold a candle to, say, Per Lindberg’s. In 2010 Lindberg was, according to this report in The Globe and Mail, “the only sell-side analyst covering Apple Inc., out of roughly 40, who has a ‘sell’ rating on the company”. As I type this today, Apple’s stock price is about 8 times higher today than it was in 2009 when Lindberg called it a “sell”.

Monday, 28 December 2015