One took off for California and landed in Ireland. The other has Apple headed to $270
FORTUNE — At a memorial for a departed colleague last week, a former Time Magazine top editor asked me a classic Time editor’s question: Would Apple still be the world’s most valuable company 25 years from now?
I mumbled something noncommittal about not being able to see over a 10-year horizon, but I was reminded of the exchange reading the note to clients issued Monday by ACI Research’s Ed Zabitsky.
Every other Apple AAPL analyst on the Street has a price target in the $600 to $1,111 range (median: $755). Zabitsky is sticking with the $270 target he set last January and advising clients to borrow Apple shares on credit and sell them short.
That’s assuming he still has any clients. Even with Apple’s post-September decline, anybody who followed his advice in January — or when he repeated it in April — would have lost a fortune.
Still, the comparison to Douglas (“Wrong Way“) Corrigan in the headline is a double-edged metaphor. The American aviator who claimed in 1938 that a navigational error sent him East when he meant to go West may have been deliberately attempting the transatlantic crossing he’d applied for — and been denied — permission to fly.
Perhaps Zabitsky, like that old Time editor, is thinking long term and anticipating where Apple might be 25 years from now.