By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
January 6, 2012

Is someone seriously suggesting that the company has “jumped the shark”?

Another day, another dumb headline on Seeking Alpha.

This beauty, by one David Alton Clark — “a conservative investor who regards Warren Buffett as his role model” — choses the walkup to what’s likely to be Apple’s (AAPL) best quarterly report ever to compare the company to Happy DaysFonzie in a leather jacket and water skiis leaping improbably over a shark.

After eulogizing at length the late Steve Jobs, Clark points to the stock’s recent gains and invokes the law of large numbers to conclude that the “company cannot continue to grow at the current scorching growth rate.” I quote:

When you review the chart, you see the price creates a parabolic design moving up 300% from $100 in 2009 to over $400 today. The speedy escalation is characterized by greed and jubilation. Investors are mezmerized (sic) by prices increasing so rapidly in a short time. The greed is rampant and contagious, driving more investors to pile in. Those left out hear of the gains and throw more money into the stock hoping to make a fast profit exacerbating the issue.

Nevertheless, the parabolic move is unsustainable and inevitably breaks down. When the party is over, it’s not unusual to see a stock lose the entire gain in a matter of weeks.

OK, Mr. Clark. I’ll bite. Let’s watch Apple’s share price over the next few weeks and see if it lands anywhere near $100 a share.

Meanwhile, the incredulous comments piling up on your article — 41 as of 9:26 a.m. — do a pretty good job point out where you analysis may have gone astray.

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