AAPL vs. Apple: Don’t confuse the two

The stock's fate and the company's fate are not always in alignment.


The Macalope’s going to give you a pro tip: Never mix up AAPL the stock and Apple the company. That’ll save you a lot of insanity.

Writing for MarketWatch, Mark Hulbert says:

“The bad news on Apple’s stock is only beginning” (tip o’ the antlers to @JonyIveParody)

Things are going to get worse for Apple before they get better.


Are they suffocating on all the money or…?

Apple’s stock is suffering. After officially entering correction territory, the iPhone maker’s shares fell again Tuesday and are now down about $20 from a record $135.

So, AAPL’s at the same point it was in January. Well, guess what else is at the same point it was in January: The stock market. But much like Apple is the only company that makes things in China and the iPhone is the only phone whose signal can be attenuated when the antenna is put under pressure, Apple’s stock is the only one that is even on the year.

It’s a good bet that Apple’s price will fall even further as analysts gradually incorporate the bad news into their analyses and lower their target prices.

For “Bad news” here read “analysts’ over-estimations of iPhone sales for the quarter.” It is strange that analysts’ mistakes have a negative impact on AAPL instead of their own performance reviews, but that’s the wacky world we live in. At least they don’t have an impact on Apple.

A reason for analysts’ typically slow reaction time is…

Having consumed lead paint chips by the bucket as children.

…that forecasting is an inexact science, at best, and they never possess enough data to make more than an educated guess.

But people believe their guesses and invest based on them and then, when they’re proved wrong, they all act like those startled goats that are so popular on the YouTube because Apple has once again failed them. Then they run away from the stock like it’s offering them a co-creator credit on an Adam Sandler movie and this is how our economy works.

Take the Apple Watch, for example, on whose success the company’s future in no small part rests.

[antler-rattling double take]

Wait, has “in no small part” been redefined like “literally” was so it now means “not very much”? Because Apple literally (traditional sense) does not break out Apple Watch sales because they don’t think it’s that influential on the company’s future success.

Yet Apple didn’t segregate Watch sales as a separate line item in its latest earnings report…

Which is an utter surprise to analysts because they are like babies and have not developed object permanence and don’t remember back to October of 2014 when Apple told them right to their faces they wouldn’t be breaking out Watch sales.

Reaction time slows when news is bad because analysts don’t like to alienate company management…

Uh-huh. Like back in March of 2014 when an analyst said Apple had 60 days to ship a new product or it would, and the Macalope quotes, “disappear.” They never want to do that, which an analyst did. Analysts are always very respectful and deliberate in their predictions, except when they’re yelling a bunch of crazy crap to try to get attention.

And let’s be fair here, it’s not always Apple that falls victim and it’s not always Trip Chowdhry who would probably really be better off just angrily smashing things than using his words because, my God, have you seen his words? Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster once said Apple sells 11 iPads per hour to zero Microsoft Surfaces based on spending all of two hours outside one Microsoft Store. That might have been true at the time, but it’s not a scientific way to judge anything other than what was going on at that Microsoft Store at that time.

So, when you wax poetic about the careful and steady process exhibited by Wall Street analysts, forgive the Macalope for asking you to pull the other hoof.

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