February is typically the most popular time for analysts to release gloomy Apple notes since it’s typically the time when Apple is in between product launches and its holiday sales buzz has worn off. Business Insider flags the latest excitable note from always-excitable Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes, who now thinks that Apple has essentially become the new Microsoft: A very profitable company that is still “doomed” to see a decade or more of flat growth.
Reitzes has carefully considered all the future products that Apple is reportedly planning to release over the next two years and has concluded that none of them will have anything close to the same impact that the iPhone or iPad had when they were first released. The result will be that Apple’s share value will basically remain frozen in place for years to come.
“We believe Apple’s story is all about iPhones and ‘new categories’ seem to be designed to make the iPhone more useful — but don’t necessarily re-accelerate growth in the iPhone category to sustainable double-digit levels,” he writes. “We look at a valuation analogy vs. Microsoft from 2000 to about 2010 and see no precedent that large-size tech companies simply start to broadly outperform again after a tough year or two if the law of large numbers is catching up to them and margins have peaked.”
Reitzes, for those who don’t remember, is quite fond of penning caps-lock-enhanced missives advising Apple to do “SOMETHING” exciting to remove itself from a “frozen state.”