Apple analysts: Stupid or lazy?

“One of the mysteries that lingers from Apple’s most recent quarterly report — when the company failed to meet Wall Street’s expectations and its stock suffered its worst one-day loss in four years — was whether the analysts who set those expectations were aware that the quarter was one week shorter than the same quarter a year earlier,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“Apple, like many retail firms affected by weekend sales, defines its fiscal quarters not as three months, but as 13-week periods,” P.E.D. reports. “To compensate for the resulting shortfall of one or two days a year, the company adds an extra week every fifth or sixth year (depending on the number of leap years in between) — giving it 7.7% more selling days in the long quarters and 7.1% fewer in the short.”

P.E.D. reports, “Is it possible that professional analysts paid to study the world’s most valuable company were unaware of something so material to their forecasts? As it happens, this is a familiar issue in academic circles.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hey, don’t be so easy on those Apple analysts, P.E.D. – a significant number of them are both.

Related articles:
Apple’s all-time record quarterly earnings disappoint – January 23, 2013
After posting new all-time record revenue, Apple shares collapse in after-hours trading – January 23, 2013
MacDailyNews presents live notes from Apple’s Q113 Conference Call – January 23, 2013
Apple reports record results: $54.5 billion revenue, $13.1 billion profit, $13.81 EPS – January 23, 2013


    1. That didn’t take long. There were 55 comments. This would have made 56, but MDN believes strongly in censorship, especially when the post is critical of them. Hypocrites.

  1. Apparently the only criteria to be a proper analyst is, according to MDN, to heap sycophantic praise and adoration upon Apple whatever Apple does or does not do, deify and worship all present and former members of Apple’s executive organization (being dead actually raises one celestial status), spewing hate and derision toward all Apple competitors, and lauding and complementing others who share and promote the same intellectual ignorance.

    1. Why exactly are you here? And how old are you?

      I suspect I need to inform you that those torrents of testosterone-driven petulance raving through your body are not a substitute for actual thoughts.

    2. Ahem, this is a Mac site, so you’d hardly expect MDN’s take to be anti-Apple.

      However, I haven’t noticed any hate spewed on competitors, though I agree where derision is concerned!

          1. Don’t think for a moment my desire or my intention is to “amuse” the likes of you. That should have been obvious, then again, Apple fanbois aren’t the most perceptive and observant drones that populate this planet.

            1. MacFreek,

              who is the TRUE crazed fanatic?

              apple fans who praise apple on an APPLE FAN SITE or (like yourself ) a person who dislikes apple and takes time to go to an APPLE FAN SITE to spew hate? lol.

              (it really amuses me that apple haters call us fanboys and fanatics while they take time to go to APPLE FAN sites, read stuff which they have NO INTEREST in or DISLIKE and then take time to post, now MacFreek THAT takes crazed dedication… LIke I never WASTE my time to go to Android sites to read about their crap…. )

            2. Typically, your levels of understanding, powers of observation, grasp of the issues, comprehension of relevant points, and woeful inability to make a logical conclusion are embarrassingly obvious. Thankfully, your anonymity prevents even more public embarrassment.

              Sent from my iPhone, you nitwit.

            3. “Thankfully, your anonymity ”

              eh… macFreek, like “MacFreek” is not ‘anonymous’?

              I think that describes YOUR ‘levels of understanding’ (which is on the Retard level…

            4. MacFreek
              Fine words…unfortunately, they in no way make up for ‘Logic Fail’ or lack of wit and intelligent engagement.

            5. I like and respect Apple; however, mindless drones like yourself are only worthy of pity and contempt. Also, I don’t always agree with Apple although I confess that the opinions of the vast majority of Apple fanbois here are ridiculous at best and utterly idiotic at worst.

              You share a peculiar mental pathology that afflicts Apple fanbois. You seem to think that if someone disagrees with you that they also disagree with Apple. Firstly, you are not Apple’s spokesperson. Secondly, your vicarious relationship with Apple demonstrates the pathetic nature of your existence.

            6. MacFreek,
              You say “I like and respect Apple” yet when someone says they think Apple is doing well, you get all upset at them.

              And the comment you took such hate against, well, it was just saying that if you go to an Apple site, you need to expect to meet people that like Apple and support other people that like Apple.

              Most of the people here like using Apple hardware and software. They complain when they think Apple does poorly and cheer when it hits a home run. But most DO NOT think that to be even handed you have to BITCH 50% of the time.

              Just a thought.

            7. @Macfreek

              you call others mindless drones, yet i notice


              are the one calling others: fanbois, idiots, ridiculous, mental pathology, pathetic, drones, cultists etc.

              dude it’s scary you don’t notice your OWN CRAZED nature!
              do cats, puppy dogs and little kids hide from you in your neighbourhood?

              get help please…
              (where is that senator that said we should strenghten our tracking of crazies… )

            8. re Don’t think for a moment my desire or my intention is to “amuse” the likes of you.

              Your average phrasing —- “mindless drones”, “pity and contempt”, “we never sacrificed our intellect and integrity”, “woeful inability to make a logical conclusion are embarrassingly obvious”

              What the heck IS your intention? Please do explain.

              I see nothing of a higher level than verbal vandalism and an apparent desire to demonstrate over and over what a petulant, arrogant little fuck you are.

    3. Your comment seems way over the top. P.E.D./Fortune is calling the analysts on the matt, not MDN. While I don’t think analysts are stupid, I do think where Apple’s actual business model is concerned they are lazy. But I’ll be charitable and say that when I’ve listened in to the quarterly conference calls it appears more like they are really busy covering a lot of companies, and they have a duplicated modeling spreadsheet into which they need to plug each company’s numbers, regardless of whether or not the spreadsheet is applicable to the company in question.

    4. The analysts are both idiots and lazy. I would even venture that the actions of some of them are dishonest. (Documented as telling the people they are advising to do one thing then doing something else themselves — then jumping through legal loopholes to keep from getting nailed by the SEC.)

      This is not MDN requiring analysts to “heap sycophantic praise and adoration upon Apple”. MDN does take Apple to task every now and then. Many of us here within these threads beat up Apple when it deserves it.

      However, most, if not nearly all, of the stock analysts who comment on Apple do so with minimal research and even less true analysis. Many just report third or fourth hand rumors (sometimes days after they’ve been debunked) and do wild extrapolations upon those rumors.

      Many couldn’t do any real statistical or logical analysis if their lives depended upon it. Why is it that the “amateur” analysts almost always are more accurate in their predictions of what Apple is doing or will do financially than the “official” analysts? It’s simply because Apple does not fit the stereotypical mode of a large company — ant the “official” analysts won’t be bothered to think in any way other than the stereotypes.

      Besides Apple spanked them for over 20 quarters in a row. How are they going to regain that lost esteem (if they ever had it in the first place)? They are going to spank Apple back. Analysts Revenge.

      Yes, there were screwups on Apple’s part last quarter. But did any analyst dig into the underlying cause of those missteps and investigate as to whether the cause was insurmountably systemic or whether Apple had put changes in place to fix them? ABSOLUTELY NOT! They just reported the missteps as a catastrophe and a harbinger of Apple’s inevitable downfall.

      It is no different than back at the initial climb out of the dark days when Apple announced that it expected to make only about 90% of the profit it had earlier estimated. The analysts piled on without investigating the cause. It was “Apple is again headed for trouble.” without understanding what happened. The market reacted and Apple’s stock fell by about half in a couple of days.

      Unfortunately, too many idiots listen to these fools. Why? They don’t want to do the research either. They just pay for the fancy reports and buy/sell accordingly.

      So, MacFreek, no one is “spewing hate and derision toward all Apple competitors”. If you read MDN regularly you would have even occasionally read an MDN take where they say, “Apple needs to be more like XXX Company.”

      Your perspective clearly is not accurate and is very, very narrowly and poorly informed. You, as well as all those analysts, need to be better informed and do more real analysis.

  2. Maybe.. since Apple missed expectations due to an amateurish release of the new iMacs.. the beating will have a happy ending. Meaning, Apple will wait to release their next big thing when they know they can actually deliver them..

    The fact that they cancelled my order of two previous gen iMacs (made in late August!), then made me rebuild my order for the new ones.. and that I STILL HAVE NO DELIVERY DATE… makes me a little bitter.

    Thats 6 months since i ordered..

    When I custom ordered my last car.. it didnt take this long.

    First world problems.. I know, but these iMacs were for work. Thats why I didnt wait for the new ones and just ordered when we needed them. Now im stuck.

    1. M,
      You said “since Apple missed expectations due to an amateurish release of the new iMacs.. the beating will have a happy end”. and I have to disagree. Apple pretty much made or beat its own guidance. That is what is has to do as a company. Not stuff to keep speculators happy.

      And that is something we can do as happy Apple users. REmember that Apple is trying to keep us happy, not speculators.

      Just a thought.

  3. Neither: Faced with a deadline, they dream up “SOMETHING” to keep their editor happy and the check coming in.

    When you don’t understand something, follow the money.

    If a writer really knew what was going on in the markets, he’ld make far more money investing than writing.

    Nuff said.

  4. Possibly the reason for Apple’s poor share price performance is selling of Apple shares, by investors,who bought equity linked structured products, a fraudulent passing off of risk by the big Wall St banks to gullible investors, attracted by a fake,apparent high yield, that evaporates as these debt products are converted into stock,leaving the investors with huge losses,resulting in them selling and cutting their losses?
    When will investors,including professional pension managers, stop buying these fraudulent products that they clearly do not understand?
    This may have caused a continuous wave of selling,as investors cut their losses, which then fed into street sentiment and automatic trades, creating the snowball effect.
    If this is the case,the root of the share price collapse is still fraudulent, the selling of these crazy products to idiots, lured in by their own greed, if not direct manipulation, certainly complicit indirect manipulation.

    1. Unethical? Yes.
      Improper? Yes.
      Fraudulent? No.

      The SEC and the rest of the U.S. government oversight agencies allow these kinds of financial derivatives. They allow any solvent financial institution to come up with these structured investment instruments. Then these houses strongly and loudly suggest very, very high returns, but guarantee absolutely nothing. They put it all into the fine print. Then they walk away with huge commissions on the sale at each end. It’s like a legal form of betting on the betters rather than the cards themselves — and the only one that always gets their cut is the house.

      The only time these guys get caught is when they start believing their own BS and hold their own (or another institution’s) securities. Then when the bottom falls out they get hit too — assuming they can’t pass the losses to the stupid masses. (Pretty much a variant on what caused the last crash.)

      The only way to stop this kind of double dealing where the only winners are the financial institutions themselves is to outlaw these kinds of financial derivatives. FAT CHANCE OF THAT EVER HAPPENING!

  5. Is there any surprise that there are Apple-haters on Wall Street? Producing opinions is pretty easy relative to producing life-enhancing gadgetry and software. Remember how Darren couldn’t really understand nor “permit” Samantha to practice her witchcraft? This isn’t very different. How could analysts understand Apple? They may play by the numbers and, yes, the quarter had some disappointments. Jim Cramer gave the stupidest comment: Apple will now be a company like IBM or JNJ. I WISH!!! Both have PERs 3x what Apple’s is without apple’s cash! PLEASE take the stock price to aPER of 23! That would put the share price WAY above $1000 per share. Mr. Booyah himself just does not get the company. The next big thing (cars? TV? An Apple-secured house? Who knows?) is just around the corner and will kill Dell and HP’s computing-gadget making days.

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