FORTUNE -- "We've seen this movie before (Apple at all time highs) and we know how it ends."
So began a brief note issued Sunday by Oracle Investment Research's Laurence Isaac Balter, chief market strategist at a boutique firm whose main claim to fame is his Aug. 21, 2012 downgrade of Apple (AAPL), five weeks before the stock went into a five-month swoon.
Now he's warning that Google (GOOG) may be next.
"As we begin to hear the rumblings of $1000 target prices and cheerleaders in pom-poms, we are raising the target price only slightly from $670 to $700 to reflect earnings per share growth, but we still think you are overpaying."
I don't pretend to fully understand Balter's accompanying chart (above), but it looks scary. As do the stats he rattles off:
For the record, by Dec. 5 last year Balter had changed his "hold" on Apple to a "buy" and then a "strong buy." The stock, however, continued to fall, from $570 to below $420.
4.7% of earnings. 4.3% of free cash flow. 3.5% of dividends paid. 9.1% of cash on hand.
FORTUNE -- A few weeks ago I got an e-mail from Laurence Balter, chief market strategist for Oracle Investment Research, chastising me for not crediting him with the downgrade -- issued in late August -- that helped lop more than $400 billion off Apple's (AAPL) market value.
I promised to keep a closer eye on his MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 1, 2013 9:41 AM ET
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