Downgrade THIS, Buddy (11/9/99)

Leave it to one of those snooty analysts to spoil the party. "Let's see," said a number-cruncher at Salomon Smith Barney. "Apple's completely refreshed all four quadrants of its product line in only six months. The company's been profitable for two full years, consistently beating expectations. The Taiwan quake and G4 availability problems were stumbling blocks, but both issues have now largely been resolved. Apple's got a ton of cash on hand, the best inventory numbers in the business, and the hottest consumer products available-- all right at the start of the holiday buying season. So let's downgrade their stock."

Yup, that's right; faithful viewer Vince Briones was the first to break the bad news, which you can read in full in a Mac Observer article. Salomon Smith Barney has lowered their rating on AAPL to "Outperform" from "Buy," claiming that the stock is now doing much better than it should be. Now, granted, AAPL's recent performance has been phenomenal, but so has Apple's. And when you consider the prices of other computer manufacturers' stock, AAPL is still vastly undervalued in any relative sense, especially considering future growth possibilities.

But then, you know our pet theory about those analysts. We just think they're miffed at Apple for continually beating their estimates. So Salomon Smith Barney downgraded AAPL, resulting in a quick drop of six or seven points-- in the long run, it's not a big deal, and if it gives the analysts a little power thrill, hey, who are we to stand in their way? After all, it's just another "buying opportunity," and when Apple really brings out the big guns next year (Mac OS X, multiprocessing systems, etc.), the analysts will be forced to upgrade or be left in the dust. So we'll see who's laughing then...

SceneLink (1902)
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The above scene was taken from the 11/9/99 episode:

November 9, 1999: Those who tuned in to watch Phil Schiller's QuickTime Live keynote were treated to a slew of new QuickTime developments-- and a bit of PG-13 slapstick. Oh, Phil... Meanwhile, a head-to-head real-world applications test shows that megahertz isn't everything, and Salomon Smith Barney downgrades Apple's stock, claiming that it's "overvalued"...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 1900: Is This Thing On? (11/9/99)   Well, as far as Apple-related speeches go, the QuickTime Live one was pretty far down there on the pre-event hype list. A presentation specially scheduled for the press and starring Steve Jobs would rate a 9 or 10, because it's got Steve and it's virtually guaranteed to be chock-full of new product announcements and other surprises...

  • 1901: Two Against One (11/9/99)   You know, when it comes to relative computer speeds, it's tough to know whom to believe, especially when you're talking about cross-platform comparisons. On the one side you've got Apple's marketing department, making claims that sometimes seem a little shifty: yes, the G3 is "up to twice as fast as the fastest Pentium II"-- as long as you're looking at Bytemarks instead of real-world performance...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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