While Apple stock plunging this morning and dragging the market and the Nasdaq lower, there were those (few) analysts and traders who were not surprised by Tim Cook's "shocking" revenue guidance cut: “Warning flags were flying,” William Fleckenstein, a Seattle-based money manager who has shorted Apple for the last three months, told Bloomberg. “You could see the deterioration in the lack of unit growth over the last couple of years and the market share loss. It was only the mania that held the thing together and now that finally blew.”
Fleckenstein warned that Apple may be a “value trap” if it fails to take steps to regain market share, such as lowering prices or innovating new products, especially if the global economy slows.
“You’ve got them losing market share in a good period,” he said. “What’s going to happen in a bad period?”
One reason the market is taking the news so badly: The technology giant’s warning was its first in almost two decades. “It’s hard to believe that a miss of this magnitude was not evident in December but we are dealing with a company that has no experience in how to guide down,’’ analyst Walter Piecyk at BTIG said via email.
And then, of course, there were all those sellside lemmings who were stunned by the announcement. In fact, as of last night, there were no less than 26 Buy recos on AAPL stock, with just 20 Holds and a paltry 2 Sells, one from Vertical Group's Jon Lopez and one from New Stree Research.
Meanwhile, for all those wondering which analysts to ignore going forward when it comes to covering Apple, here is a list of some of Wall Street's most prominent Buy recommendations.
Expect a barrage of new downgrades today as Wall Street finally "forecasts" what has already been disclosed.
And sure enough...