Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

The Apple slingshot released: $57 billion in one clock tick

April 26, 2012: 7:04 AM ET

In two weeks, the company's value had been pulled down by nearly one Amazon

FORTUNE -- In the words of Jason Schwarz:

"If you can keep a good stock down then you are able to load up for the ride back up. It's like a slingshot -- the harder you pull, the more propulsion you generate."  -- Apple: Seven reasons shorts love it

There was a lot of pent-up value in Apple (AAPL) on Tuesday April 24, the day it was scheduled to release its fiscal Q2 earnings.

Exactly two weeks earlier, the stock had capped a four-month bull run by hitting an all-time intraday high of $644 a share.

Over the next 10 trading days, in what one analyst called "panic profit taking," the stock fell 13.8% to hit, shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday, $555 a share. (See Cocking the Apple slingshot.)

With 932.37 million shares outstanding, Apple's market capitalization had just been reduced by $83 billion. For that kind of money, you could almost buy Amazon (AMZN).

The next morning, Apple opened at $615.64. In one clock tick, the company had gained $57 billion in market value, or roughly one Goldman Sachs (GS).

That's a lot of throwing power, even for a slingshot as big as Apple.

[Thanks to Asymco's Horace Dediu for suggesting the metrics on The Critical Path #35 "Joys and Sorrows."]

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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