By Friday, only two were still at $700 or higher, and on Monday, one of them -- Needham's Charlie Wolf -- lowered his Apple target from $700 to $595 (That left Topeka's Brian White all alone at $888, down from his all-time Street high of $1,111.)
Wolf is not your typical Apple analyst. Some of his colleagues change their price targets with every shift in the prevailing wind and never offer more than a sentence or two by way of explanation.
Not Charlie Wolf. He reviews his Apple price target only twice a year, in February and August, and if he changes it -- as he did on Monday to reflect what he calls a "more hostile competitive environment" -- he tells you exactly why. His chart-heavy note to clients Monday runs more than 4,380 words long and breaks down his valuation by product line (see his Figure 1 above).
The key bullet points: (I quote)
Below: The analysts' individual price targets. Eleven months ago the median target was $770. Today it's $530.
The difference between Wolf and Wall Street may be that he values Apple's cash holdings
FORTUNE -- There's something about Charlie Wolf's approach to Apple (AAPL) that I find charmingly old school -- perhaps because he's been in the business even longer (14 years at First Boston and 15 at Needham & Co.) than I have.
Most analysts seem to change their mind about Apple's prospects every time the wind shifts; Baird Equity's MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Feb 25, 2013 12:43 PM ET
Like the tortoise in Achilles' footrace, they may be perpetually unreachable goals
"There's scant evidence that the stock market itself has paid much if any attention to analysts' price targets in recent years," writes Needham's Charlie Wolf in a note to clients Thursday that raises his own Apple (AAPL) target $80 to $620.
He's got a point. the average target among the two-dozen analysts we sampled on October 19, the day after Apple's MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Feb 9, 2012 9:14 AM ET
In terms of revenue per sq. ft., think Tiffany's (its nearest rival) multiplied nearly threefold
Apple Stores are always busy places, but they tend to go crazy when a major new product is launched. With the arrival of the iPhone 4S, writes Needham's Charlie Wolf in his tenth annual report on the state of Apple's (AAPL) retail empire, they went absolutely nuts.
The numbers for the quarter that ended Dec. 31:
Revenue per MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Feb 5, 2012 7:35 AM ET
Goldman Sachs, Needham and Hudson Square Research issue new notes
You can tell you're getting close to an Apple (AAPL) earnings report when the analysts start dusting off their spreadsheets and issuing new estimates. At least three came in on Monday.
Needham's Charlie Wolf made the biggest adjustment, hiking his earnings estimate to $10.85 from $9.55 on Street-high sales of $41.15 billion, up more than $3 billion from his previous estimate. He MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 9, 2012 12:57 PM ET
A sampling of reactions to Apple's (AAPL) profits growing 125% year over year
IDC's Al Hilwa: "Apple's growth in the third quarter was simply jaw-dropping. In 20 years of following tech I have seen very few companies in the $90 to $100 billion run-rate and none that have produced 80% organic quarterly growth. The success of the iPad truly crystallizes the point that we are living in an era of rapid MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 20, 2011 5:46 AM ET
After the Verizon iPhone launched in the U.S., Android suffered its first quarterly decline
The chart at right, taken from a note Needham's Charlie Wolf sent to clients Monday, could be labeled "The Verizon iPhone Effect."
Using IDC data, Wolf shows Apple's (AAPL) share of the U.S. smartphone market gaining 12.3 percentage points to 29.5% in the March quarter while Android's share in the U.S. fell from 52.4% to 49.5% — its MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 21, 2011 7:11 AM ET
It's no accident RIM has had to slash its guidance and cut its workforce
The analysts were all over Research in Motion (RIMM) Friday after the company issued sharply lower guidance for 2012 and warned of forthcoming layoffs. See, for example, Barron's take here.
Most recognized the role Apple (AAPL)'s iPhone and Google's (GOOG) Android played in marginalizing the BlackBerry. But none of them were quite as blunt as Needham's Charlie Wolf, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 17, 2011 8:47 AM ET
The contrast with Windows PC sales is especially striking in Asia, the U.S. and the rest of the world
As is his wont, Needham's Charlie Wolf waited until the middle of Apple's (AAPL) current quarter to issue his analysis of the last. As usual, it was worth the wait.
In a note to clients Friday entitled "What a Streak," he uses a series of charts based on IDC data to zero in MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 22, 2011 10:40 AM ET
The persistence of record-setting queues has Wall Street scratching its collective head
The morning phone call to Apple's Fifth Avenue Store followed a familiar script:
Do you have iPad 2s today? Yes, we got a shipment. Is there a line? Yes, it goes around the block. Do you have enough units for everybody? No, we don't.
That crowds of buyers are still gathering outside Apple Stores every morning, more than two weeks after MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 29, 2011 10:11 AM ET
|Water becoming more valuable than gold|
|What stumps Warren Buffett? Minimum wage|
|Will 7 Apples a day keep the bears away? - The Buzz|
|GM's $1.3 billion recall cost wipes out profit|
|Apple's stock split makes the math easier; new all-time high is $100|