Apple just might find itself shopping around for a new finance partner for its retail stores after Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes likened the company’s future potential to that of Microsoft.

financing-page-hero-2013Downgrading AAPL from a buy to a hold, Reitzes said that while he was excited by the iWatch and Apple television ideas as a consumer, he didn’t see either driving double-digit growth. Quoted by Business Insider, he said:

We look at a valuation analogy vs. Microsoft from 2000 to about 2010 and see no precedent that large-size tech companies simply start to broadly outperform again after a tough year or two if the law of large numbers is catching up to them and margins have peaked.

Ouch! Still, it appears his pessimism is not universally shared.

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18 Responses to “Analyst delivers the ultimate insult to Apple, calls it ‘the next Microsoft’”

  1. mikhailt says:

    Did he say Apple is the new MS or did he say Apple’s stock will be similar to MS? It seem BI is putting words in his mouth but regardless, both statements don’t mean the same thing. If the latter, I’m not sure why it is an insult, it is likely to be very accurate. This is what happened when huge companies reaches its growth peak in the markets they’re in. Same thing happened to IBM and other titans.

    I don’t think Apple can push double-digits growth anymore, all of the categories they’ve redefined with their products is now settled and becoming saturated, it is very unlikely Apple can do much anymore here.

    If they’re willing to lower their margins (I doubt that’ll happen), they could drop prices on iPhone C to 199$ no contract with a small spec bump. That’d give them a lot of more customers that may buy more apps from their App Stores.


  2. ashtraywasp says:

    “Ouch!”. lol.

    I’ve never understood why analysts and Wall Street types are so utterly obsessed by “growth” as the measure for everything.

    Growth ultimately only means earning more than you were x months ago, but although Apple are making around the same amount they made 12 months ago that amount is still astronomically huge.

    Right now Apple have pretty much the definitive 21st century smartphone, tablet and computer with iPhone, iPad and Mac; never mind iTunes and the App Store. All of them still making more each quarter than most tech companies put together. It’s almost like analysts think they’re just going to vanish the next financial year.


    • greenbelt2csp says:

      Because they can’t make billions of dollars overnight on hype if people value dividend revenue and stability more than the actual price of the stock itself making them money. That being said, I’m pretty sure Apple will prove growth is still in their DNA….


  3. Unfortunately, I believe that the statement may be accurate.

    Apple’s golden years have come and gone. Current product categories feel stale and lack innovation. The momentum is slowing down.

    Apple design is less appealing than ever IMO. iOS 7 looks cheap, amateurish, and wannabe android. Product categories feel stagnant.

    Sure they will deliver a smart watch device . . . maybe a TV. I hope that these products can reignite the company. But, I doubt it.

    The magic left with Steve Jobs.


    • Another Apple is doomed without Steve Jobs screed. Yawn.


      • I don’t think Apple is doomed. I just think they are stagnant. Similar to Microsoft . . . they will be around for a very long time. The golden age appears to be over.

        Believe it or not, I’m an Apple fan boy. Always have been. I hope that they maintain an edge. So far though, it looks as if they have lost it.


    • rahhbriley says:

      I welcome comments like yours. As they grow, they may shift the culture at Apple back to a “f*ck everyone else, we’ll show you” mentality. Which is what I think they need. Apple with a chip on it’s shoulder again will be much more interesting animal.

      I’m not old enough to have been a die-hard Apple fan through the 90’s, but around 2000 is when I can say I became a fanatic. As someone that loved Apple before iPhone/iPad, I always had an irrational dislike for those that jumped on the bandwagon when the iPhone came along. I actually haven’t liked the masses being in love with Apple. I had this view (not saying it is right), that the masses never understood Apple’s core values and principles like “we” do. If you truly understand what made their computers great before everyone loved them because of what they did in the mobile space, then you would know that Apple’s not going to be ANYTHING like Microsoft. They may not always be king of the world. But their DNA won’t allow it to become a drunk giant.

      Sooo…I welcome the Apple hate. Makes it feel like old times again when the haters were always talking trash, ignorantly not getting what Apple is really about. Jump back off the bandwagon.


      • Apple’s DNA is directly aligned with Steve Jobs. He was a visionary. A visionary cannot be replaced. The company is already demonstrating that. The sun is setting on Apple’s golden age.

        We will have to see how it all turns out. I may be wrong . . . very wrong. I hope that is the case.


    • rahhbriley says:

      Annnnd….If you REALLY understood Jobs, you’d know his greatest invention wasn’t the Mac, iPod, iPhone, or iPad. It is Apple.

      Apple is Steve’s greatest invention…I dare you to actually wait for it to rack up a few miles on odometer before declaring it broke down on the side of the road.


    • Funny when I read comments like this about Apples lack of innovation. The people always neglect to mention any other computer/tech company that’s making Apple-esque innovations. The reason… there are none.


      • I stand to differ. We are seeing companies in China and within the US that are innovating at a faster and more competitive pace than Apple. All of the great Apple-esque innovations were under the tune of Steve Jobs himself. Apple has yet to introduce a groundbreaking new innovation since Jobs departure.

        Don’t get me wrong, it would be great if Apple can defy the odds. Haven’t seen it yet. Fingers crossed that the iWatch will yet again change the game.


    • greenbelt2csp says:

      Yawn…I’m pretty sure even Steve Jobs realized he wasn’t the only reason Apple became successful (again). I think Steve’s biggest contribution to Apple was hiring the right people. I’m paraphrasing from his biography, but he basically told his senior execs on his dying bed something to the effect of, “do what you know to do, you’re already better than me anyway..”


  4. I can definitely see Apple’s stock becoming like Microsoft’s stock. Apple will end up earning plenty of revenue but the share price will continue to drop as investors continue seek nearly profitless companies to make money from. Only if Apple acquires some prestigious company will Apple see share price increases. Wall Street clearly does not like iPhones or iPads because they believe that Android devices will simply overwhelm any smartphone or tablet product that Apple sells.

    And of course there’s competition with Samsung. Samsung packs an amazing number of features and specs in their flagship Galaxy S smartphones and the smartphone industry loves that sort of thing. It’s like buying a car with a 5-foot long sticker listing all the features. Apple can’t or won’t compete with that. Apple will likely ever again become a favorite with investors like Google is. I can easily see Google going to $1500 a share while Apple’s share price fades miserably. I guess there’s no justice for a successful company’s shareholders when growth stops. I was hoping for Apple to acquire Tesla but it appears unlikely to happen. That was Apple’s best chance of boosting its share price with just a small amount of money. There’s not much else left but to watch Apple’s share price waste away as the critics continue to forecast Apple’s doom.


  5. Someone posted this in Apple Insider. It’s from 2008:

    “Shares of Apple slipped about 4 percent Monday after investment bank Goldman Sachs removed the company from its buy list for the first time in more than two years, citing concerns over consumer spending and a belief that Macworld Expo will not see the company embark on a major new product initiative.

    The Goldman Sachs analyst downgraded shares of Apple to Neutral from Buy for the first time since July 20, 2006. He also trimmed his calendar year 2009 per-share earnings estimate to $4.75 from $5.13 and cut his 12-month price target on the stock to $115 from $125.”


  6. If Apple continues to develop iOS to look like a children’s toy, I wouldn’t doubt their stock status will eventually slip to Microsoft levels.


  7. WS/ the steet, only rides wild stallions that they can ride and jump off at the last minute before the crash…. Apple on the other hand is becoming a ” steady stock” therefore no ride it till it craps out. Mature products that last… services that connect…
    Take the insult with pride. Double fidget gains yty are for the 1%ers that thrive on that game. Apple may be getting boring, so what!!!! I like boring, stable, easy to use products. I get my kicks in other venues than my tech.