Wall St. Research Starts To Turn On Apple (AAPL)

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Apple’s (AAPL) shares are up about 225% over the last two years. By way of contrast, Google’s (GOOG) shares are up about 75%. That puts Apple’s market cap at $108 billion, five times sales.

Wall St. researchers are beginning to say perhaps the shares have gone a bridge too far. In a recent look at analyst reactions to the share price by Bloomberg, market experts from Pacific Crest Securities, IDC, and American Technology Research have voiced doubts about how quickly the phone will sell.

There are also concerns about the total cost of ownership for an iPhone. "The associated costs of ownership will persuade many others into a `wait and see’ position,” said Shiv Bakhshi, a researcher for Framingham, Massachusetts-based IDC.

Estimates for sales are certainly inconsistent based on polls of various research firms provided by Bloomberg:

        Fiscal Year                                     Fiscal Year
                                           Ending Sept. 2007       Ending Sept. 2008
American Technology Research  250,000                   **
Bear Stearns & Co.                    650,000                   **
Credit Suisse                           1.7 million               12.3 million
Pacific Crest Securities               800,000                 4.8 million
Piper Jaffray & Co.                    1.2 million                8   million
UBS AG                                    950,000                  8.1 million
**Not available
Source: Analyst research reports

Just last Friday 24/7 pointied out that the media has been doing its part to be skeptical of the iPhone  We did note that in the short-term traders should expect to "sell the news" if history is any gage.

For Apple to hold its current price would be very unusual.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at douglasamcintyre@247wallst.com