The Macalope: Miss-direction


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Apple had another record quarter, so you know what that means. Yes, it’s doom o’clock again!

Oh, let’s face it, it’s always doom o’clock when it comes to Apple. It’s just a matter of finding daily excuses to not fix your clock.

Writing for the Financial Times, Tim Bradshaw declares “Apple bruised as iPhone sales disappoint” (tip o’ the antlers to Shawn King).

Yes, record iPhone sales are totes disappointing. Colon-dash-open-parentheses kind of disappointing. Analysts apparently were expecting iPhone sales with imaginary numbers like the square root of -1 or whatever projections they came up with for iPhone sales, which are equally imaginary.

Disappointing iPhone sales triggered a sharp sell-off in Apple stock in after-hours trading …

That’s actually probably not what prompted the sell-off. What probably prompted the sell-off was Apple’s tepid guidance for the next quarter. The whole thing about the stock market is future performance, not past performance.

Its miss on iPhone sales …

Ah, those magic words that emerge from their hole every quarter like the world’s crappiest groundhog: “Apple missed.” Sorry, who missed again? Was it Apple, or the analysts who are paid to tell their clients how many units the company shipped so they can invest appropriately? Yeah, somebody missed—but it wasn’t Apple.

In a call with analysts, Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said that its flagship iPhone 5s had been more popular in North America than he had expected, creating supply shortfalls. His inference was that its cheaper companion, the plastic 5c, was less popular than Apple had hoped, although Mr Cook said it succeeded in winning business from first-time iPhone buyers.

Not only that, but he also said that it sold better than the mid-range phone from last year, the iPhone 4s. So, the iPhone 5c—which everyone is calling a dud—actually increased sales for Apple at the same price point, while probably decreasing costs. Can someone explain how that’s supposed to be a big failure?

Apple investors had been looking for …

Magical candy unicorn time, with jelly on it.

… a blowout quarter in December after industry analysts suggested that the new iPhone 5s had gained share over rivals such as Samsung’s Galaxy S4.

Industry analysts were wrong, so Apple must suffer.

The Macalope doesn’t play the ponies anymore and he would never presume to offer investment advice, so he’ll just note a couple of data points. The first is that Carl Icahn picked up $500 million more shares of AAPL at the reduced price.

The second is that noted Mac developer Wil Shipley also picked up some shares, albeit presumably fewer than Icahn, noting wryly:

Just picked up more AAPL stock at a big discount. Thanks, idiot pundits and corrupt investment banks!

Now, that’s analysis you can use.

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