An analyst from a tiny research firm claimed that production of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhones will decline 20% in the second half. The claim does not hold water. Even the largest research houses can only guess what the huge consumer electronics firm’s future is. And the wide spread of opinions means that only one or two can be right. The rest will be wrong. The statement seems obvious, but it is rarely mentioned. To make matters more obscure, any analyst can walk onto Wall St.’s stage and make a wild claim. If it is wild enough, it might get some attention.
Brian Blair at Wedge Partners sent a note to his clients in which he forecast that due to “slowing demand for high-end handsets globally,” iPhone production will fall to 90 million to 100 million from previous a previously forecast 115 million to 120 million. The extreme spread of each forecast indicates how inaccurate both are.
No one has heard of Wedge, and its mission statement is as vague as it is unhelpful to anyone who wants to know what it does:
Wedge Partners is an independent equity analysis firm with a focus on the technology and media industries. Through this unique focus we provide significant insight into company initiatives, global industry trends and technological developments that help us establish a greater vision of success and failure. We find that this information is an effective predictor of company performance. It is this information that we pass on to our clients through documentation and personal interaction.
Wedge Partners is distinguished by the vast experience of our analysts within the technology and media industries and the relationships that they have built over time. Our principals have spent considerable time in high-tech sales, marketing, business development and technical roles.
Wedge Partners is singularly focused on helping our clients make money by providing differentiated and relevant information in a timely manner. As a result, Wedge Partners is a trusted and reliable source of accurate and real-time information that helps substantiate the investment process.
Wedge has five analysts, at most, according to its own PR. And none of them has a reputation worth mentioning. Each of the analysts is obscure, and most likely they found it hard to make it as a researcher at any other firm. Brian Blair had his moment in the sun for his Apple prediction. However, his previous work was with firms that are less well known than even Wedge — Dorado Capital Management and Bluewater Capital.
Blair, like much more well-known analysts, proves the case that even a stopped clock might be right twice a day. And he would be lucky to even hit that measure.