The stock market likes to be pleasantly surprised. Meeting expectations, or even exceeding those set by the company in question and more conservative (realistic?) analysts is often regarded as severely as a major miss would be. This has been seen in Apple’s stock before, and it has also been witnessed in the stock price of both Microsoft and Google. As of now, AAPL is down 9.83% in after-hours trading. Keep in mind that the results Apple announced today are the largest corporate earnings in the history of the Planet Earth, and the stock is still down.
So, with that in mind, does it matter? Obviously, Apple’s executive team would probably prefer their stock price to be going up. But, in all honestly, does it impact the performance or products of Apple as a company?
.@rogerchucker I felt EXACTLY the same when AAPL was at 700. Apple’s stock price is solely an indicator of their stock price.
— Andy Ihnatko (@Ihnatko) January 24, 2013
Andy Inhatko, a lead technology journalist for the Chicago Sun-Times, obviously believes that the answer is a resounding “no.” He makes the point that it has never mattered: in fact, one could argue that Apple’s most innovative moments have been when the stock price was much lower and analysts were even more down on Apple as a financial entity.
Rene Ritchie of iMore also comes out with a fantastic point: the goal of both analysts and traders is to make money. Whether their expectations are right or wrong, they want to take their predictions to the bank.
Analysts’ and market makers’ goal isn’t to accurately predict or reward Apple, it’s to make money. They’re “wrong” all the way to the bank.
— Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie) January 24, 2013
Again, let’s not pretend that the executives up in Cupertino are just fine with their stock being lower than it was a few months ago. However, the current decline doesn’t negatively impact any current plans or operations. So while Cook and Co. would certainly prefer the price to be climbing, they’re probably not losing too much sleep over this ordeal. After all, record-breaking profits is never a particularly shabby thing to report.
Sebastiaan de With responds to today’s erratic market results with the following snarky, well-timed response:
As an Apple analysts analyst I can conclude that this quarter was again record-breaking in terms of complete disassociation with reality.
— Sebastiaan de With (@sdw) January 24, 2013