Battle of the Apple targets

Pros vs. friends of the blog: A statistical analysis of 76 twelve-month price targets.

After more than a dozen years of listening to my subscribers complain about the price targets posted by Wall Street analysts, I invited them last week to submit their own (see here). Betting is still open, but the window closes at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 1.

With targets in hand from 43 friends of the blog (i.e. paying subscribers) and 33 professionals, I have endeavored to plot the two sets of data as a pair of bell curves.

Apple targets fobs prosWe’ll find out who was closest to the mark on April 1, 2021. The FOB with the best estimate wins a free year’s subscription to Apple 3.0 ($100 value). The pros, who will have likely moved their targets several times by then, will be judged by their published target as of April 1, 2020. The winner among the pros will get a tip of the hat, their name in lights, or a star on Hollywood Boulevard, whichever is cheaper.

My take: What do these bell curves mean? It took me three days to learn enough statistics and Numbers charting skills just to draw them. Corrections—and interpretations—appreciated.

See also:


  1. Paul Brindze said:
    FOB’s more agressive because we know more?

    More likely because we have “no change” rule. Pro’s all know they can adjust as price goes up.

    But, of course, we do know more 🙂

    March 31, 2020
  2. David Emery said:
    I’m most surprised by the larger standard deviation on the FOBs. I would have expected the range between Pro and FOB to be different, but the Std Deviation to be closer.

    This shows the FOBs have a much wider range of expectations than the Pros.

    It’ll be -fascinating- to draw the line on this graph next year, to show where the actual price lands.

    March 31, 2020
  3. Gregg Thurman said:
    The range of FOB targets is both higher and lower than that of the Pro’s resulting in a greater StDev.

    March 31, 2020
    • David Emery said:
      The FOB points seem to be widely distributed along most of the curve, too. So it’s not just a couple of outliers (Robert M. 🙂 )

      March 31, 2020
  4. Robert Martin said:
    I certainly hope I’m wrong here betting $100 but if all hell breaks loose then I might be the winner by a long shot. I sure do help broaden the SD, however. Sorry about that.

    March 31, 2020
    • Jacob Feenstra said:
      The problem with that number is that if you’re right you might be the only one still subscribing to Apple 3.0. All of us will be either broke or have moved on to other stocks 😉
      (Just kidding, of course, I don’t own AAPL for the shares but for a slice of a great company.)

      March 31, 2020
  5. Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
    “ Nothing can seem foul to those who win.”
    — William Shakespeare

    “…chicken dinnah!”

    March 31, 2020
  6. Jerry Doyle said:
    PED, my iMac has the 27” Retina 5K display. It’s very accurate in displaying charts and images.

    The range of the bell curve for the FOBs begins at $100 and ends at $435. The data points for the FOBs on your chart, though, begins above $150 and ends seemingly around $500.

    Conversely, the range of the bell curve for the Pros begins at $260 and ends at $370. The data points for the Pros on your chart, though, begins around $165 and ends with a data point at $450.

    In summary, the data points on the bell shaped curve don’t match up with the data points in the range of Pros and FOBs. While the tails of the bell shape curve may continue forth a ways beyond the beginning and last data points in the range, I believe the data points should fall exactly within the projected range.

    It’s been over half a century since my course work that involved bell shaped curves so I am rusty on how they work specifically. It does seem, though, the data points should match up within the range of the entire data points.

    March 31, 2020

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