Bill Gray
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Apple stock makes smart people look dumb

Apple keeps making a mockery of anyone who tries to contain it.

Shares of the maker of gadgets are flying higher again Monday – gaining $3.51, or 2.7%, to close at $133. This is a monumental move because it means the stock is already on the verge of taking out analysts’ estimate of what the stock is worth — in 18 months: $133.43. Apple stock continues to make what these smartest people on Wall Street think look dumb.

Apple’s (AAPL) rise continues to astound and defy anyone attempting to estimate what the stock is worth. The analysts continue to have to boost their price targets to try to stay ahead of the stock’s move higher. Even hedge fund managers, who sold shares of Apple at the end of 2014, must be shocked to see the stock move another 30% this year.

Here’s what really shows how wrong analysts have really been. Analysts were calling for Apple to be worth $74.65 in 18 months — 18 months ago. That estimate is off by 78%. The current 18-month price target is looking equally off – given that the stock is already practically there.

And it’s not that analysts aren’t trying to keep up. The average 18-month price target for Apple keeps moving up — just not fast enough.


Target when18-month target
1 month ago$123.02
2 months ago$122.22
3 months ago$118.54
12 months ago$83.74
18 months ago$74.65

Sources: S&P Capital IQ, USA TODAY research

Analysts keep boosting the 18-month price target on the stock — as Apple shares storm higher. These increases keep it just barely ahead of the current level.

This breathtaking rise – makes the stock worth $777.2 billion. That’s double the second-most valuable, Exxon Mobil, at $381 billion.