Wall Street may have done yet another damage to its image over the coverage universe in the shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). In what felt very similar to the dot-com and tech bubbles of 1998 to 2000, Wall Street analysts kept reiterating their Buy ratings and kept raising their consensus price targets over and over. On Monday came a price target raise for Apple by Barclays, and our question is whether you as an investor should really care.
Barclays maintained its Overweight rating and the firm raised its price target objective to $525 from $465 on this stock. Our take is that investors should ignore this call. If you genuinely think that Apple will get its growth path on again very soon, then you should buy the stock. If not, you should either sell it or just hold it.
Take the new price target of $525 from Barclays into consideration based solely on valuation. Barclays was implying upside of not quite 17%. This was the greatest growth story of close to a lifetime, but the stock lost more than 40% of its value in just a few months after peaking above $700 in 2012. Is 17% enough upside to chase a stock that has become a technical disaster? We would also note that the $525 price target compares to what was more than $600 before earnings, but is now only about $541 or so.
The good news here is that Apple’s momentum has returned in the stock. This is being technically driven as momentum investors are getting back in after the stock flushed out the weak hands holding the stock. The 2.3% (or $10.45) gain to more than $460 on Monday is actually up almost 20% from the low of $385.10 from just April 19.
Barclays is telling its clients that Apple remains an undervalued stock, even after the recent rally. as many investors still have apathy toward Apple. The firm even noted that much of the investor base does not believe that the new product cycle will matter. Barclays just does not agree with the assessment of the public.
If you want to chase Apple shares, do it for momentum trading or value investing rather than just what one analyst tells you. Or even do it because you think that Apple is going to rekindle its growth and overtake the world of computing and consumer electronics in the next decade or longer.