Alex Gauna flips his Apple bit, sets Street-high target of $150

December 4, 2014, 3:11 PM UTC
From JMP Securities

JMP Securities’ Alex Gauna made quite a name for himself in 2011.

In March of that year, when Apple was trading for $50 a split-adjusted share, he downgraded the stock, helping trigger what was at the time the company’s third worst trading day in dollar terms. (See The day Apple landed in Gauna.)

Within 18 months, Apple’s share price had doubled.

In August 2011, the day Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO, Gauna made a joint appearance on CNBC with Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, where he played the bear in Apple’s china shop.

“There’s no way it gets better from here,” Gauna told CNBC’s Jon Fortt. “This is the beginning of the end… I think investors should be looking for diversified positions out of Apple at this point.” (See Video faceoff: Munster vs. Gauna on the post-Jobs era.)

That turned out to be spectacularly bad advice.

So it was with some surprise — and concern — that we saw Gauna on Wednesday raise his price target to a Street-high $150 a share when Apple is already trading within spitting distance of its all-time high ($119.75).

We recommend buying AAPL,” he wrote, “ahead of potential near-term catalysts that include the F1Q15 earnings report for key supplier Avago (AVGO, MP) scheduled for Wednesday, December 3, the next China Mobile 4G subscriber update in a few weeks, and Apple’s own F1Q15 earnings report in January.”

We don’t necessarily disagree with his assessment. We just don’t trust it.

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple (AAPL) coverage at or subscribe via his RSS feed.