Apple 2.0

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Mike Abramsky's bad RIM advice

February 11, 2009: 11:42 AM ET

RIMM 1/11/09I hate to pick on any particular analyst -- especially one with as good a track record as RBC Capital's Mike Abramsky -- but this is hard to resist.

When we last visited Mr. Abramsky, he had issued a price target for Apple (AAPL) of $70 -- the lowest of all the analysts who track the stock -- three weeks before the shares shot past $100. See Mike Abramsky's bad Apple advice.

Well, he's done it again, only on the other side of the trade, and this time with Research in Motion (RIMM), maker of the BlackBerry -- the iPhone's chief competitor.

On Jan. 20, two business days after he downgraded Apple to "underperform," Abramsky upgraded RIM to "overperform" and raised his price target from $45 to $75. (link)

This morning, three weeks and a day later, RIM issued a warning that its fourth quarter earnings and margins will be coming in at the low end of its prior guidance -- and well below the Street's expectations. (See here.) The stock opened at $50.20, off nearly 7 points, and closed at $48.76, down 14.5%.

As an aside, last week, Abramsky was the co-recipient of iPhone Asia's tongue-in-cheek Dean ("Animal House") Wormer award for bad advice. His firm's initials, of course, stand for Royal Bank of Canada, and the publication was suggesting that Abramsky was favoring a Canadian company (RIM) over an American (Apple). See here.  I find that hard to believe. Neither Abramsky nor RBC Capital's spokespeople has responded to our requests for comment.

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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