The bear case against Apple

June 21, 2010: 11:28 AM ET

With the company -- and the stock -- on a tear, a checklist of what could go wrong

Source: Bernstein Research

Bernstein Research's Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst with a long history of bearish Apple (AAPL) predictions (see below) chose an odd day to make what he calls the "bear case [for] a darling among buyside investors."

Apple was trading at record highs for the third day in a row Monday when Sacconaghi offered his clients these bullet points:

  • Apple's market cap is too large for it to outperform, and its image has migrated from underdog to Silicon Valley bully, which will increasingly pit competitors against it.
  • Increased regulatory scrutiny threatens to undermine Apple's powerful iOS ecosystem.
  • Sustained growth in iPhones will inevitably lead to margin pressure.
  • Near-term expectations for iPhone and iPad units are getting heady, risking disappointment.
  • Apple insistence on retaining cash points to a risk of the company squandering it on a flawed acquisition.

In the end, the analyst seems unconvinced by his own analysis.


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