Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock is no longer the best job for stock market analysts, according to an article posted on businessweek.com yesterday. According to the article, analyst price targets for the company are now varying wildly. The position means that analysts are less likely to be right about the company than they were early in 2012.
In the first quarter, and well into he second quarter of 2012, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) analysts competed on how high they were willing to set the firm's twelve month price target. Those that predicted more outlandish round numbers became the more widely read, and the steady increase in the firm's stock price made it impossible to be wrong in direction, they could only be wrong in magnitude.
Though it reached its height in the early months of 2012, the feverish analysis surrounding the company's stock has been going on since the stock began its meteoric rise in 2007. Now, as the firm's growth appears to be slowing, the analysts that made their names off of Apple's rise are finding it difficult to achieve results.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock closed at $542 on Thursday. That represented a single day fall of 1.25%, not a large amount in terms of the company's total loss in recent months. Since hitting highs of over $700 in September, the firm's shares have fallen by more than 20%.
According to the Bloomberg piece, analysts are having a difficult time predicting the stock's future for a multitude of reasons. The company's public presence is one of the more powerful among them. The publicity surrounding the firm increases headline pressure, giving the firm a more unpredictable future.
The future of the company depends, for many analysts, on the release of a new product line. Few analysts believe the iPad mini is new enough to change the firm's bottom line. the most widely reported theory is that the firm will soon release an Apple TV. Gene Munster, who made his name analyzing Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), is especially hopeful of such a move.
Whether or not a television could possibly shake the company's stock out of its current fugue is up for debate. That debate, in the form of research report published by analysts, has not come to a conclusion about the speculative power of an iTV release in 2013. Like the firm's stock price, the company's recent performance makes it impossible to tell what direction it is going.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is by no means a failed company, and the analysts working on it are by no means failed, but anybody who purchased stock in April, looking for 50% returns on $600 inside twelve months, is bound to be disappointed with the stock's current price level.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is not likely to start losing money any time soon, but the firm's stock price growth is certainly slowing. Nothing can last forever, but investments based on cliches rarely achieve much. As with analysts, it is difficult to predict the future of Apple stock. Unlike analysts, I will refrain from doing so here.