Uri Gruenbaum

About the Author Uri Gruenbaum

CEO of TipRanks

Bearish Apple Inc. (AAPL) Analyst Fired

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is debatably the most popular stock on the market. The hegemonic technology company has nestled its way into every aspect of life, from cell phones, to TV, to music. Who would dare say the stock isn’t going anywhere but up? The answer is Adnaan Ahmad of Berenberg Bank, who has been waving the red flag against the tech giant for years. He has just payed the price of his job for doing so.

Fortune revealed Ahmad’s release from Berenberg today. The analyst acknowledged in a note to Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Fortune, “I have strived to be as honest, independent and give a high level of integrity in my research as possible throughout my career. As many of you know, my views have been controversial in the global tech space and I have taken a fair amount of abuse…”

There are currently an overwhelming 25 analysts who have recommended to Buy shares of AAPL in the last three months. In the same time period, 6 analysts have cautioned to the point of staying neutral, but no analyst, other than Ahmad, has gone as far as to recommend selling. Analysts are bullish for a number of reasons, ranging from iPhones flying off the shelves to growth in China.

However, few analysts have acknowledged that the unbeatable tech giant has actually fallen over 5% in the last 12 months, and fallen more than 15% in the last six months alone. Despite the dip, the average 12-month price target between the 31 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months is flying high at $146.59; a 37% upside from current levels.

AAPL Consensus

And then we have Ahmad, who initially warned against Apple in 2013 when he cut his rating from Buy to Sell and slashed his price target from $800 to $360. At the time, the analyst believed that Apple was “obviously in a dilemma” in its attempt to sell low-end smartphones. The analyst continued to take aim at Apple, dismissing investors’ hopes in April 2014 that Apple’s P/E ratio would benefit from new devices.

Fast forward to January 2015 when the analyst reiterated a Sell rating with a $60 price target, this time taking aim at the iPhone 6. Ahmad explained that the iPhone 6 series with larger screens and longer battery life would deter users from upgrading more frequently. He commented, “In our opinion, this is not good news for Apple’s iPhone business… 2016 could be an absolutely treacherous year for iPhone volumes and Apple’s earnings, given the disproportionate revenue and margin impact of this product.”

Ahmad bearish ratings

In the last six months, the analyst has stressed the risk of Apple slowly becoming a single product company as the iPhone continues to dominate revenue. He dismisses the Apple Watch, noting that this new product line will not be strong enough to make up the difference. Ahmad has also warned investors against Apple’s gross profit margin, explaining, “I think group gross margins have or will peak again soon and that is the next debate on the world’s largest market cap stock. Thoughts and abuse welcome as always.”

Now that the lone bearish Apple analyst has been silenced, who will raise the red flag on the unstoppable tech giant?

  • enyibinakata

    The reality distortion field of Apple lives ever after. Haha iClowns

    • Henry_3_Dogg

      It does indeed. It makes you see them as clowns while they make 92% of the profits from the mobile phone industry.

      That field has clearly trashed your perception.

  • socalman777

    no company can survive with the kinds of bricks and mortar they have with just one product. I’ve said this for years. Remember Gateway?

    • Henry_3_Dogg

      Google have one product. Advertising. They make a loss on everything else combined.

      Exxon have one product. Oil.

      Disney makes films. Boeing make aircraft.

      Apple make profits from selling computers, phones, music, video, software, watches, financial services, books, 3rd party accessories, support, cloud services, music reproduction equipment.

  • cherazor65

    Apple is not a tech company – it’s a church. They could sell their followers anything like iToiletpaper, iBatteries, iTV, iCars, iPens, iGlasses, iShirts and they would buy without hesitating – even at lowest quality for double price – the higher the price the more they would buy – at least I know lots of people they would do. The question is only – when will they start doing this … they could make trillions with that …

    • iKrontologist

      Apparently you don’t realize this, so I’ll point it out for you; iCloud = FAIL….. iWatch = FAIL… since the name and launch FAILED and sales have remained stagnant afterwards at no more than 20 to 20,000 a day on average. So it would 12 Years to Sell the 100, Million they were projected to sell of their watch at that rate!

      iTunes Radio…. where is it? It FAILED Miserably! Do we ever hear much about iMaps lately? NO!!! ….it’s barely a blip on the maps weather screen today. Even Nokia’s HERE Maps is gaining higher ratings and noteriety than iMaps for it’s accuracy…. not lack of it!

      Just like their new $3 Billion Beats Radio Purchase has done. Falling on it’s face. Where’s all those 100 Million Apple Music Subscribers we all heard was it’s Ultimate Year End Goal? I mean yeah….. they had depended on even Android users dropping their Google PLay Music and Spotify, just so they too…. could all contribute more of their dollars to Apple forever like the rest of the iJihadist Faithful ISIS against the Kurdish Women Soldiers Shaming them into submission!

      But…. apparently the Apple iReligiously Led Faithful and Other Assorted iZealots have grown weary of fattening other’s pockets out of their own. Because in latest Surveys…. Apple Music isn’t even mentioned as a threat against the leaders:


      Need I say more? Well for this writer…. apparently we can assume he received his Apple Backdoor Funded Xmas Stocking….. so he just had to bring Apple Music into the Android Top Streaming Music Comparison! …….go to Play Store and notice the reviews; “Buggy”, “Slow”, “Setup is like going back in time”……. “Where’s the Beef? Certainly Apple make the interface easier to navigate”…. for me…. At Last Apple has put out something as fugly and difficult to us as iCloud. Well at least they didn’t have Jony 5 is Alive Ive claiming to have invented it Eons Before the Dawn of Time Immortal!

      Let alone Apple faithful….. like this writer foolish enough to even claim Apple Invented Streaming Music Well Before they Invented God in the 1st Place! xD

      • cherazor65

        We’ll see. You have to think different with Apple. 90% of judges and politicians and journalists are using only Apple products … because other peers do the same and hence they will do forever. They have no idea about tech and are not comparing – they just buy Apple products. Hence 90% of articles in newspapers and in the web about mobile phones will be about … yes … about iPhones … and 90% of the judgments will be … yes … in favor of Apple … even Obama had big influence of the success of Apple and next president will be the same. You won’t ever see a U.S. President with an Android phone … believe me. And … probably you don’t know, but it’s a fact: Apple is taking 92% of profits in the entire smartphone industry. Apple is able to fail 100 times and makes still more money than the rest. Open your eyes … accept reality … even if you don’t like and when it’s different!

        • iKrontologist

          Oh…. Obama and several ex-presidents have been seen using Android phones. Samsung got the only NSA approval for the US Government’s Private Network with KNOX 2.x Security Suite. Apparently now with Blackberry BES Encryption available via KNOX 2.x available cross platform….. is the only way iDevices in both Government and Enterprise is the only acceptable BYOD available! 😀

          Meaning…. even IBM is selling KNOX Security Suite with Samsung partner Blackberry’s Top Ranked BES Encryption Service included in KNOX Security Suite included….. the only way iPhones can even be used on the majority of High Security Networks anywhere! xD

          • Henry_3_Dogg

            The last refuse of the incompetent. Changing the subject.

          • iKrontologist

            You mean you Fool Applewellian Brainwashed iJihadists actually think Apple is really earning 92% of all smartphone sales profits??? xD Get a real brain and think about the fact that Samsung is their OWN BEST CUSTOMER and they actually feed their profits back into their other businesses owned separately as the most diversified Global Conglomerate on the Planet!!! ……and that not even counting their huge numbers of Joint Ventures owned separately!!!

            Listen….. Profits are only considered Net Profits after all taxes and costs to produce the products, as well as R&D and CAPEX has been paid!

            For Apple….. over 70% of their revenue is earned offshore and funneled through Stateless Zero Tax Scams. Where that 40% (as per Tim’s own claim of cost to repatriate those Supposed CASH Profits back in to the US) is still deferred taxes yet to be paid. Now what exactly does that do to your ignorant Elitist Claim of Apple making all these Profits? That in all reality are being hoarded in LONG TERM Securities for up to 25yrs! 😀

            And buddy that’s exactly what I’m talking about in you all being so extremely deluded into believing they can just pull all that CASH…. haha…. out and expect to be able to spend it. Here’s the reality for you;
            1. If Apple were stupid enough to withdraw those funds already earning interest locked in for up to 25yrs, there would be penalties to pay plus the deferred taxes. They could however sell them, but then they would be selling them at a discount well before they are even close to maturing.
            2. They could also offer bonds and go deeper in debt than they were just 4yrs ago… when they owed nothing. But they would also be liable to pay from 1 to 2% interest on that debt. Depending on the terms to maturity. Money is cheap now, so that would be their best option.

            Even though it still doesn’t cancel out all the deferred taxes still owing on the nearly 85% of their hard asset value. Because truth is they really don’t own anything and in fact lease everything to escape maintenance costs and some tax liabilities. Like Real Property Tax! ……which is generally included in lease payments that they can’t write off, but by the same token do not require Real Cash be held in Reserves. Like paying off debt on Real Property!

            If you are a home owner and own any Real Estate Income Property you’d know this. Because Corporations don’t get special treatment and when they invest in their own factories they get to write that cost off, just like we do. Tim Cook prefers out source EVERYTHING! ………which may have certain advantages in only making it seem like Apple is filthy rich with a Market Cap Value tanking as we speak!

            Want me to let you know when Apple’s Market Cap falls into 2nd place or further down? You know like they are in smartphone sales alone vs Samsung now #1 for 5 yrs Straight! xD ……..but hey 2nd Place to Samsung with their phone business being only a HOBBY…. is pretty good. I mean since Apple doesn’t own parts of major factories of their own, Construction Companies, ship building, Fashion Industries, Plastics, banking #1 OEM Battery Maker…. and on and on ad infinitum!

            To go with their own Top Marketing Firm, Banking, Hospitals, Luxury Hotels, Automobile Maker and parts supplier, like in Samsung SM3 ZE Electric (w/ self driving technology coming), eMX Samsung Renault Concept Electric Car (which they own major shares in and is but just one of the Auto Makers they’re invested in) and hey did you know most military tanks, Mobile Howitzers, Robots, and Jet Fighter Engines in South Korea (5th largest Air Force) are made by Samsung? And gee….. wiz….. even Boeing Dreamliners use Samsung products. Even…. Tesla (use Samsung Li-On Batteries to construct their Battery Packs), BMW, Audi/VW and Mercedes rely on Samsung materials and products that are used to make their cars. Plus a whole long list of other Auto Makers…. of course! 😀 ……..why even the little iTrinket Maker…. Design House Only company….. CrApple is one of their customers! :DDD

            So… go ahead and iBloviate on and on about profits, as if Apple invented that too!!! ……and that iBloviation? Well they probably can take honest credit for pioneering that in the first place, as well as the small case letter ‘i’. All under Saint Steve Jobs’s Incorporated Dictatorship!!! ….Tim Crook? Well he’s still hanging on for dear life to Steve’s Coat Tails!!!! xD

            So now how much actual spendable CASH…. does Apple really have in the bank? By Tim’s calculations maybe $120 Billion at most!!! Minus all those deductions….. what’s the iTrinket Design House’s REAL Profits come to? haha…..

          • henry3dogg

            Since Apple makes several times as much profit just on iPhones as Samsung makes from it’s whole business, Net or gross, I can’t really see the point of your massive obfuscation.

          • iKrontologist

            If only you fools could comprehend the truth in how Apple operates it’s International iPhone sales….. calculated as software licensing run through Apple Operations International in Ireland. Which was their Stateless Zero Tax Scam agreement with the Irish government in trade for jobs and money invested in Ireland!

            Apple only paid taxes on sales of iPhones in Ireland of 12.5% corporate rate. So that 70% of Apple’s International Revenue has been paying Zero taxes funneled through Singapore and Ireland.

            Which since you seem fool enough to believe that Apple actually makes 92% of Profits. Because if they ever go to spend any of the supposed $200 Billion CASH….. Tim Cook even says it’ll cost them 40% of it just to net $120 Billion!

            And now they have lost their Stateless Tax Status in Ireland….. plus may have to pay up to $19 Billion in back taxes. Plus…. they’ve already settled to pay some countries in Lawsuits they’ve lost! ……..it’s already affecting Apple Operations International as an independent enterprise. It’s already paying more taxes in Ireland now. When it goes into full effect…. they profit margins will fall tramatically. It’s also why Apple really couldn’t take advantage of Corporate Tax Holiday in the USA as well.

            Either way with majority of Apple’s International Sales Revenue held in Long Term Securities (not maturing for up to 25yrs), they’d not only be liable for that 40% Tim Claims it’d cost Apple in deferred tax payments, but may be forced to discount the premature Securities holdings. Liquidation of those long term securities could be very problematic for Apple.

            Meaning that even if they went in to debt further by offering bonds, they would still be canceling out the interest earnings with interest they’d be paying to those who bought bonds! …..it’s a PUSH!!! …..and they obviously don’t win any awards for being smart investors then…. do they??? ahaha…. 😀

      • Henry_3_Dogg

        By your launch assessment criteria, the Mac, iPod and iPhone were also FAILS.

        Shareholders will be delighted to have a few more fails like those.

        • iKrontologist

          In case you haven’t noticed, iPods are DEAD, iPads are Dying, and Macs still have never topped 10% of the market. iPhones are OK…. if all you ever want is to stay in 2nd place to Samsung forever!!!

          Yeah…. for the 5th year in a row the iTrinket Design House Only is still back in 2nd place to Samsung, by around 100 Million Phones and that doesn’t include feature phones or 5yr old iPhone 4/4s sales, like Apple’s does!!!

          BTW….. Apple is a Publicly Held stock ONLY!!!! Whereas Samsung is made of both publicly held and privately held companies and a whole lot of Samsung isn’t even claimed by #1 Samsung Electronics Divisions….. let alone Samsung Group and assorted Joint Ventures and separately owned investments!

          Samsung says…. hey we’ll just leave all the ridiculously lame Market Cap iBloviating to Apple. At least they can claim to be #1 at something for share holders only to crow about!!!

          • henry3dogg

            iPods aren’t dead. They just build phones into them and vastly increased the price and market and called them iPhones.

            iPads are still the most profitable tablets on the market.

            IBM sold their PC business to lenovo for $1., Gateway are gone, Compaq are gone, most of them got rolled up into HP who then announced they were shutting their PC business down … but had to keep going to get the component volumes to prop up their server business.

            And now Microsoft are destroying the market for the rest of the Wintel industry by doing hardware themselves.

            Who makes the lions share of the profit in the PC business? Apple.

            And Apple makes 93% of the profits from the mobile phone industry. Samsung struggle to stay in the frame turning out vast numbers of zero profit low end crappy phones to make the numbers took good and only manage to sell a few of their high value models which are then defunct after a few months because of lack of OS updates.

            Yes, ALL of Apple is publicly held and therefore transparent and accountable. Much of Samsung is indeed a warren of opaque companies in tower of opaque cross holdings. Much like Enron.

            I see Samsung just slashed their profits. Again.

    • Henry_3_Dogg

      You are clearly a religious fanatic but from a different church that requires you to perform this missionary work. Probably Samsung’s marketing department.

  • iKrontologist

    Losing over 175 Billion in Market in just a few months is the BEST REASON EVER…… TO BECOME A BEAR ON THAT STOCK!

    Then we have iDolizing Bimbos like this writer who seem to think this Analyst loss his job, simply because he wasn’t completely Brainwashed by her Applewellian FUD and MISINFORMATION PUMPING OUT…… iTrinket Design House Only…… Darling of FOREVER LOYAL….. iDiots Who Dare Denounce the Eaten Bitten apple Logo Company is now living up to his Bearish Expectations!

    Give us a break and face your own Reality Distortion Field Existence with Open Eyes. Take off the Saint Steve Jobs Blinders….. Tim Cook’s Applewellian Led iTrinket Design House Only is finally going to have to face. Stateless…. Zero Tax Rate…. Corporate Inversion with Ridiculously High Profit Margins will never be able to live forever! ……..and we found out with Saint Steve Jobs….. even he, the Most Holy Man of Apple couldn’t either. Tim Cook….. is just like all the Presidents who simply held office at the right time and simply living off their predecessor’s RDF Fumes!!! …….Tim Cook? I hope you too have your end of life all planned, like you should have Apple’s in the very near future!

    Nothing and I mean nothing….. ever lasts forever. Xerox…. IBM….. Microsoft…. Dell…. HP….. Cisco have all been atop the heap sitting on massive piles of Gold and not one is still doing so!!! …..to think that Apple would somehow be any different is the greatest unfulfilled iFantasy anyone on Wall Street could ever have! …..and this writer is obviously in a delirious mental state to think Apple can change the course of Life in All Reality!!!

    • imvho

      I find your passion puzzling.

      I for one, have no interest whatsoever in Blackberry. As a result, I don’t read articles about that company and would never bother to comment about their prospects.

      You seem to be uninterested in investing in Apple, but strangely passionate about it.

      What are you doing here?

      • iKrontologist

        haha….. only severely deluded Apple Fans claiming to be more just loyal Apple investors, rather than extremely passionate….. almost iJihadists like in their view of Apple being like a God to them, would being saying what you are saying!!!

        It’s like what all the severely demented Appleholics Anonymous sickos claim is part of their illness…. as they all stand up to tell their story in their meetings!

        YOU….. are definitely showing all the symptoms of this mentally deranged condition. Maybe go seek treatment will help you see your addiction under a new light? 😀

        • imvho

          Wow, that’s amazing.

          Seriously though, what motivates you to spend time on stocks you have no interest in trading?

          • iKrontologist

            Why do you “I bleed 6 Colors of Apple” fans feel the need to waste all your precious time….. trying to FUD Up Samsung’s Online Presence with so much deluded Misinformation? Now that I find really amazing is how brainwashed fools like you spend so much time going around dissing on Samsung!

            When it obviously isn’t helping move Apple ahead of Samsung in overall smartphone sales alone, as still #1 on the Planet! …….nevermind their huge assortment of diverse products and companies, from chips, batteries, Hospitals to Automobiles, Skyscrapers and Ships outside Samsung Electronics!!!

            Oh and just what will you do when Apple Market Cap value falls below Google’s? Cry and just stay loyally invested in a dying company? Yeah….. it’s inevitable…. that Apple the iTrinket Design House Only company will be taking a dive. With only one product losing sales…. disaster is on it’s way!!! ;-P

          • imvho

            Whew! That was a long 2 weeks!

            It’s good to see you’re still alive!

  • BoltmanLives

    Speak no evil , hear no evil , fire evil

    Appl has at best 15 years left. Only because of the abusive overcharging for the past Nine years on iPhones..what a joke company…. cant innovate anything