The Morning Brief: James Chanos Still Bearish on PC Businesses; Analysts Pare Apple Price Targets.

Short-seller maven James Chanos of Kynikos Associates, who last year called Hewlett-Packard Co. “the ultimate value trap for investors,” says he is still shorting the computer maker — as well as Dell. Speaking at length on CNBC, the hedge fund manager who oversees roughly $6 billion of assets, once again proclaimed that the personal computer business “is falling apart.” Chanos says he actually got out of Dell last year but began shorting it again this year when founder Michael Dell announced plans to take the company private. “I’m puzzled, as a financial analyst and a business analyst, why this is an attractive deal,” Chanos says, adding, that cash flow “is plummeting.” Chanos acknowledges having a small long position on Apple, which he says he has never shorted. What about nutrition-supplements purveyor Herbalife? Chanos admits he was short Herbalife last year but covered in late December when the stock plunged, following William Ackman’s much-ballyhooed presentation on the company being a Ponzi scheme. The “multi-level marketing model is flawed,” Chanos says.

The BH Macro fund, a closed-end fund managed by Alan Howard’s Brevan Howard, has already gained 2.41 percent this month through April 19, pushing its year-to-date gains to 6.20 percent. BH Macro invests all its assets in the ordinary shares of the $27.8 billion Brevan Howard Master Fund. In March the firm predicted that 2013 will be a strong year for macro investing.

Credit Suisse Securities on Wednesday lowered its price target on Apple to $525 per share, from $600, and lowered its fiscal 2013 and 2014 estimates. The moves come after the release of the iPad and iPhone maker’s quarterly results and announcements of plans to boost its stock buyback program. However, the investment bank retained its Outperform rating on the stock, saying that Apple will redistribute 25 percent of its market capitalization over the next three years and that it promises a dividend yield of 3 percent.

Meanwhile, Sanford Bernstein dropped its price target on Apple to $600, from $750, but kept its Buy rating, according to a CNBC interview with the brokerage firm’s analyst, Toni Sacconaghi. Sacconaghi says that investors should own the stock if they still believe the company has the ability to innovate and create new markets for itself. Shares of Apple closed down slightly, at $405.46.

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