Kathryn Huberty Predicts Apple Performance

10 months ago Ms. Huberty released her price target for April 2010 (see graph) at between $100 and $105. The stock was trading at $121 then and her forecast was for a 14% decline.

She wrote:

Investment Conclusion: The combination of a March quarter beat and positive management tone is likely to keep AAPL shares in its recent trading range. Valuation is not stretched by any means but at 21x our adjusted C09 EPS, the market already assigns AAPL a 16% premium to RIMM which credits AAPL for lower risk given its large cash balance and a more diversified revenue model. We remain Equal-weight AAPL shares.

We note that the stock is currently trading above $200 at a P/E of 19x. She had forecast a price of $100 on a P/E of 21x Calendar 2009 Earnings Per Share. The implication is that EPS would have been $100/21 or $4.7 for calendar 2009.

She already had one quarter of data ($1.79 for CQ1) therefore she forecast $4.7-$1.79 = $2.97 for the remainder of the 2009 calendar year.

In reality, Apple earned $10.24 for 2009 and $8.45 for CQ2 through CQ4. That makes her error ($8.45-$2.97)/$2.97 = 184%.

We see today that she has a new forecast for $225 a share which leads us to conclude that she still has a job.

Rubinstein on why Pre is not Selling

Dave Whalen and I just returned from a very successful meeting with Verizon Wireless, where they acknowledged that their execution of our launch was below expectations and recommitted to working with us to improve sales. To accelerate sales, we initiated Project JumpStart nearly three weeks ago. Since then, nearly two hundred Palm Brand Ambassadors, supplemented by Palm employees from Sunnyvale, have been training Verizon sales reps across the U.S. on our products. Early results from the stores have already shown improvement on product knowledge and sales week over week. You may have also seen a growing number of Palm ads on billboards, bus shelters, buses, and subway stations-all getting the word out about Palm.

How hard can it be to explain multitasking?

link: WSJ Posts Palm CEO’s Letter to Employees