As of Wednesday morning Morgan Stanley's and Oppenheimer's were under water
Most sell-side Apple (AAPL) analysts are conservative in their earnings estimates but bullish in their price targets. According to Thomson/First Call, the Street high target this week is $700 and the median is a dollar short of $600. (The independent analysts are even more optimistic; the biggest number we've seen is Robert Paul Leitao's $790.)
But with Apple topping $525 in heavy mid-day trading Wednesday, the stock is starting to overtake price targets set less than a month ago, including some from the biggest names on Wall Street.
As of noon Wednesday, analysts whose 12 month price targets were underwater included:
It's not clear whether these two really think the company is overvalued, or if they just haven't been paying much attention lately.
UPDATE: Apple shares fell steeply shortly after noon, giving up the day's gains and then some. According to Aaplpain's Travis Lewis it was options-induced sell-off. "So many calls are out there people have to close them 'cause they can't afford the shares," he wrote. "When they start to close them causes that big sell-off."
The stock closed at $497.67, down $11.79 (2.31%) and nearly $29 off its high for the day.
UPDATE (2/18/2012): Oppenheimer's Kidron has upped his target to $570. Morgan Stanley's Huberty is sticking with $515.
Three graphs from Oppenheimer's 2012 Handset Guidebook
In the following bar graphs, lifted from a report issued Sunday to Oppenheimer clients by Ittai Kidron and George Iwanyc, may tell you all you need to know about where the smartphone market is headed.
Keep your eye on the magenta bars representing Apple's (AAPL) iPhone and the light blue bars representing Samsung, the leading vendor of Google (GOOG) Android phones. See who is gaining MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 14, 2011 10:51 AM ET
Apple's $76 billion cash stockpile is burning a hole in Wall Street's pockets
It happens every quarter. Apple (AAPL) reports blowout sales and earnings. Its holdings in cash and marketable securities swell by billions of dollars -- by $10.7 billion, to be specific, in the past 90 days. And analysts come out of the woodwork to demand that the company spend some of those billions buying back shares or issuing dividends MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 21, 2011 2:22 PM ET
Why did one of the world's fastest growing tech companies fall twice as fast as the market?
Boy. You leave town for one day and -- if you'll forgive an expression Elmore Leonard warns writers never to use -- all hell breaks loose.
Of course, with Japan's nuclear plants burning and the Dow dropping 242 points and change, you would expect Apple (AAPL) to take a hit. So some of its $15.42 MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 17, 2011 7:18 AM ET
Pleased to see Steve Jobs, wowed by the device's performance, fearful for the competitors
A sampling of analysts' reactions to Apple's (AAPL) iPad 2 event. By midday Thursday we'd received 20 reports.
Oppenheimer's Yair Reiner: The just unveiled iPad 2 offers the kind of incremental improvements consumers have come to expect from a second-generation Apple device. While it doesn't include any new breakthrough features or functionalities, the sum total of its refinements MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 3, 2011 10:44 AM ET
But the fact that investors expect a Verizon iPhone in early 2011 makes its analyst nervous
In a note to clients issued early Friday, Oppenheimer's Yair Reiner addresses the yawning disconnect between Apple's (AAPL) fundamentals -- the underlying strength of its business -- and its share price.
"Apple's stock has performed admirably this year (up 37% YTD)," he writes, "but it has significantly lagged the improvement in the company's fundamentals, which have MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 8, 2010 7:23 AM ET
According to one analyst, Apple has blown past all previous launch-day records
"Guessing launch day iPhone sales," writes Oppenheimer's Yair Reiner in a note to clients issued Friday, 'has become something of a national sport, a bit like guessing whether Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow."
But that doesn't stop him from playing the game. Reiner's guess: 1.5 million, one and a half as many iPhones as Apple (AAPL) sold in three MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 25, 2010 7:38 AM ET
The HTC lawsuit capped blunt talks that have reportedly shaken their faith in Google
Oppenheimer's Yair Reiner issued a behind-the-scenes report Tuesday that sheds a lot of light on the patent suits Apple (AAPL) filed last week against HTC, the Taiwanese smartphone maker.
Citing "industry checks," Reiner writes that:
"Starting in January, Apple launched a series of C-Level discussions with tier-1 handset makers to underscore its growing displeasure at seeing its iPhone-related IP MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 9, 2010 7:26 AM ET
Production "hiccups" may depress next week's earnings, warns one analyst
Compared with the increasingly sunny predictions streaming from his competitors, the note Oppenheimer's Yair Reiner sent clients Friday morning was something of a buzz kill.
"We believe Apple could report in line to slightly disappointing [fiscal fourth quarter] revenue," he wrote, advising investors to hold off buying shares until after Monday's quarterly earning's report.
The focus of his concern: the iPhone.
Reiner's estimate for MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 16, 2009 8:03 AM ET
|Many low-wage workers not protected by minimum wage|
|HBO shows coming to Amazon ... not Netflix|
|Students cry foul over athletes unionizing|
|Postal workers to protest at Staples|
|Thanks to Obamacare, more workers may quit their jobs|