Apple shares closed out trading today at $181.87 a share, up $6.71 for the day, and marking the highest the stock has reached in the past year. Could this impressive climb have anything to do with recent comments by CNBC analyst Jim Cramer where he predicted that Apple’s stock will climb to $264 a share in the next 12 months? It very well could be, but you would think people would take Cramer’s opinions with a grain of salt, no matter how bullish he may be on Apple.
If you recall, it wasn’t that long ago that Daily Show host Jon Stewart took Cramer to task for his history of blatant stock manipulation. In one revealing video clip that was broadcast on air, Cramer openly admits that he manipulated the share price for certain stocks while he was a hedge fund manager. As an example, he mentions Apple and discusses how easy it would be to manipulate Apple’s share price downward.
Below is a partial transcript of that video clip which was filmed in the month leading up to the iPhone announcement:
Apple’s very important to spread the rumor that both Verizon and AT&T have decided they don’t like the phone. It’s a very easy one to do, and you also want to spread the rumor that it’s not gonna be ready for Macworld. And this is very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim that its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple, because Apple doesn’t issue statements. So it’s really an ideal short, and again, if I were short Apple, I would be working very hard today to get that, and the way you do that is you pick up the phone, you call 6 trading desks, and you say “listen, i just got off the phone with my contact at Verizon and he said “listen, we’re a LG house, we’re a Samsung and Motorola house. There’s no room for Apple, they want too much. We’re not gonna let them in…” And I think that’s a very effective way to keep a stock down.
So yeah, Cramer’s thoughts, theories, and analysis of stock performance should be looked at extremely carefully and not taken at face value. It’s sort of jarring, though, that his words still seem to carry so much weight.