FORTUNE -- Apple's (AAPL) announcement Wednesday of its first stock split in more than nine years set off a round of fresh speculation about the company's possible entry into the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
That's something a stock that trades in a $400-to-$700-per-share range has as much chance of doing as a camel has of going through the eye of a needle. This has been pretty thoroughly hashed out, I'm told, on CNBC.
But that still doesn't solve the puzzle reader SoCalMe put to this group on Wednesday.
"Does anyone know how the split number might have been selected?"
Good question, given that Apple's previous three splits (May 15, 1987, June 21, 2000 and Feb. 18, 2005) were all 2-for-1.
Two readers (Anne and plcm123) offered the same explanation at roughly the same time.
As Anne put it:
"It would make the math very easy, for most of us. Apple hit all time high at around $700, so 7 to 1 split would make $100 as the new all time high number, easy to remember and to calculate how far AAPL has dropped from the all time high (for now) and later (hopefully) how much higher AAPL has gone up against the old all time high. For this reason, I like the 7 to 1 split very much. It is better than a 5 to 1 or 10 to 1 split, math wise."
Sounds good to me. $100 per share is the kind of nice round number Steve Jobs always preferred.
As plcm123 put it: "Apple loves simplicity."
Apple has posted an FAQ on the split. The choice of a 7:1 ratio is not addressed.
The amateurs beat the pros again this quarter, but not by much.
FORTUNE -- It was almost like the Apple (AAPL) Earnings Smackdowns of old, where the free-wheeling amateur analysts -- focused obsessively on their favorite investment -- clobbered the Wall Street professionals by correctly anticipating a huge beat driven by stronger than expected iPhone sales.
Except that six years ago, when we began this quarterly exercise, Apple was still growing by double digits, Steve Jobs MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 24, 2014 4:59 AM ET
What they are not telling their clients is that they've missed a chance to make some money.
FORTUNE -- If the small army of analysts who track Apple (AAPL) are embarrassed by their failure -- across the board -- to alert clients that Apple was about beat the Street's consensus and announce a 7-for-1 split, and that its shares might pop better than 8% in overnight trading, you wouldn't know it from their post-earnings notes.
"Many analysts," MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 24, 2014 1:50 AM ET
Apple reports earnings of $11.62 per share on sales of $45.6 billion, a Q2 record.
FORTUNE -- The numbers are in, and they're surprisingly good. Stronger than expected iPhone sales seem to have boosted both the gross margin and the bottom line. iPad sales were a little weak, due largely to channel inventory changes. Mac sales were up and the iPod business, as expected, has pretty much collapsed. Apple press release.
In MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 23, 2014 4:00 PM ET
"Powerful" is getting heavily re-tweeted, and the early reviews online are positive.
FORTUNE -- Two years after marketing VP Phil Schiller's outburst, the team doing Apple's (AAPL) TV advertising seems to be "feeling it" again.
The ad is available on YouTube.Philip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 23, 2014 2:14 PM ET
With today's earnings expected to be ho-hum, does Apple have a surprise up its sleeve?
FORTUNE -- On Tuesday, Re/code's Walt Mossberg joined the parade of Apple (AAPL) watchers wondering whether the company has lost its innovative magic.
To Mossberg's credit, he points out that there was a six-year gap between the iPod and the iPhone, and that it's only been four years since Steve Jobs -- knowing his end was near -- pushed out the iPad.
Still, the operative metaphor of Mossberg's piece MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 23, 2014 6:34 AM ET
Dutch royalty once shopped in the century-old fashion house where Apple now sells iPads.
FORTUNE -- Queen Emma of The Netherlands, who in 1879 married a man once described as "the greatest debauchee of the age," used to buy her gowns in the building that now houses Apple's (AAPL) retail presence in Amsterdam. So did her daughter, Queen Wilhelmina. And so did Wilhelmina's daughter, Queen Juliana.
In its heyday, the building Leo Hirsch erected on the Leidseplein to MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 23, 2014 4:15 AM ET
The average forecast of 40 analysts: Earnings up 2.4% year over year, revenue down 0.2%.
FORTUNE -- With one day to go before Apple (AAPL) is scheduled to report its earnings for the March quarter – Q2 in Apple's fiscal year -- the expectations of the analysts polled for Fortune's quarterly round-up are not high.
In fact, they're either flat or down across the board according to the 40 analysts we've heard from so far. MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 22, 2014 8:17 AM ET
Tim Cook responds to criticism from environmentalists with a video message of his own.
FORTUNE -- Apple (AAPL) continues to come under pressure from environmentalists and human rights groups to clean up its act.
Currently making the rounds on college campuses is filmmaker Heather White's Who Pays the Price, a 9:30-minute video that begins in the style of a soft-voiced Apple promo ("This is what matters. The experience of a product. Will it make life better...") but quickly MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 21, 2014 1:50 PM ET
Average estimate: $10.32 per share on sales of $43.5B. Apple's guidance: $42 to $44B.
FORTUNE -- Apple's (AAPL) share price got clobbered in after-hours trading three months ago when the company announced its earnings for the Christmas quarter. The problem was not the record sales of Macs, iPads and iPhones -- although the iPhone numbers came in a bit lighter than expected.
No, what knocked nearly $45 billion off Apple's market cap that night was MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 21, 2014 3:22 AM ET
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