The year’s top Dow performer may come under pressure in 2020.
Tech investor Paul Meeks is worried Apple’s 2019 record run is putting investors in a dangerous position.
By his calculations, the iPhone maker is worth much less than $290 a share.
“I value the company at about $170 a share, believe it or not,” the portfolio manager at Independent Solutions Wealth Management told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Monday. “We’re talking about a company that based on my model is about $100 per share overvalued.”
Meeks, who’s known for running the world’s largest technology fund during the dot-com boom, cites fundamentals for his bearish view — particularly a maturing global smartphone market.
“People are excited, perhaps too much so as the company transitions from a hardware product iPhone-dominated company to … software as a services company,” he said. “The stock is overpriced.”
Apple shares have soared 85% so far this year, and Wall Street is embracing the rally. According to FactSet, analysts have 20 buy ratings versus six sell ratings. Ten analysts are neutral on the stock.
Yet, Meeks is cautious. Within the next year or so, he expects Apple will deliver a couple of disappointing earnings reports that will lead to a sharp correction.
“The last time that we saw nice growth in global smartphones was back in 2015,” he said. “It’s not healthy. It’s not a growth market.”
Meeks went negative on Apple on “Trading Nation” on April 29, 2019. Since then, the stock is up 43%. Yet, he didn’t entirely miss out on the rally. Meeks still owns shares in his clients’ portfolios as an underweight because he knows he’s being judged versus the tech benchmarks. Plus, he still views Apple as an “iconic” company.
But he has no plans to buy more Apple shares unless they fall at least 40% from current levels.
“The iPhone business continues to deteriorate,” Meeks said. “[It’s] very akin to the slowdown in maturity that we saw in the PC market as we kind of went from the ’80s to the ’90s.”
Disclosure: Paul Meeks owns Apple shares.
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