“Apple’s stunning fourth quarter, $18 billion in profits and $74.6 billion in revenue, was the best in the company’s history,” Suzanne O’Halloran writes for Yahoo Finance. “In fact, it was the best quarter any company has ever reported. Yet, the analyst community was caught off-guard. ‘It was pretty clear to anybody doing channel checks, or looking at the stores, they were selling a ton of this and Wall Street completely misses it,’ complained Barry Ritholtz, chief investment officer, at Ritholtz Wealth Management.”
“In his opinion, the reason is pretty simple. ‘I don’t think they [analysts] understand the relationship people have with their iPhones, iPads, Macs,” he declared to Yahoo Finance,” O’Halloran writes. “At the end of the day, we are all really Apple investors, even if you don’t own the actual shares. According to data from FactSet analyst John Butters, Apple’s blowout quarter accounted for just over 2.5 billion or 51% of the $5 billion increase in earnings for the S&P 500 index.”
“The maker of iPhones, iPads and Macs, notes Butters, is now the largest contributor to fourth quarter earnings growth for the S&P 500 at the company level,” O’Halloran writes. “Without Apple overall fourth quarter earnings would be nil.”
Read more in the full article here.