“Apple dropped 10% in pre-open trade after reporting a softer-than-forecast fiscal fourth-quarter earnings outlook. Apple’s third-quarter earnings climbed 31% on growing sales of Macintosh computers and iPod music players,” Steve Goldstein reports for MarketWatch.
“Deutsche Bank analysts said concerns over CEO Steve Jobs’ health is playing as much a role in investor concerns as the group’s earnings view. Apple said Jobs has no plans to leave the company and that his health is a private matter,” Goldstein reports.
“‘While the topic is delicate, we believe the absence of a straightforward denial of health issues will increase speculation of a worst-case scenario,’ they said,” Goldstein reports.
Full article here.
In a healthier market, you wouldn’t see as much of these shenanigans happening with Apple (AAPL) right now, but people are worried, so AAPL is extra valuable to Wall Street right now.
Apple is an extremely strong company; a bright spot amidst a market full of uncertainty. But, a steady rise in share price as reward for producing stellar quarter after stellar quarter isn’t the optimal situation for a go-to Wall Street cash machine. If peaks and valleys can be made to occur in AAPL with some regularity, then profits can still be made during a rough market.
Money managers can see that Apple’s future is extremely bright, even — *gasp* without Jobs (may it never happen) — so, if AAPL can be manipulated downward, they have confidence that it will soon bob right back up. Just skim off the profits, wait for it to pop up again, and then once again grow oh-so-concerned about Apple’s guidance (which is always ultra-conservative), make up something else entirely to be “worried” about, or even stoop (scumbags that they are) to using Jobs’ past health history as a tool. Just call your favorite ignorant, friendly, and/or paid off “reporters” to get the story out there, scare off the skittish, and reap the rewards. Lather, rinse, and repeat. Oh, yeah, we almost forgot: accuse anyone who questions why a company that repeatedly posts record earnings inexplicably loses 10-percent of its value in a couple of hours every so often of being a crackpot conspiracy theorist.
It’s unfortunate that the SEC can’t even begin to get a handle on this painfully obvious market manipulation.