Can we really change the subject from Steve Jobs' health to Apple's holiday sales results?
Even for reporters who regularly cover Apple (AAPL) and are used to getting manipulated by the company's well-oiled PR machine, this is a headsnap.
One day we're supposed process the news that Steve Jobs is too sick to run world's most valuable technology company. The next we're expected to report -- as if nothing had happened -- the financial details of what everybody expects will be Apple's biggest quarter ever.
Like any company with a knack for public relations, Apple likes to time the release of news -- good and bad -- to maximize or cushion its impact. Reporters are used to this kind of thing.
But it's rare that the public is exposed to such naked manipulation on the front page.
So before we shift gears and start talking about the quarterly results scheduled to be released after the markets close today, let's at least acknowledge -- with no disrespect to Mr. Jobs and no less compassion for what he and his family are going through -- that Apple is pulling our chains.
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]
What to watch for Monday when the company reports its fiscal fourth quarter earnings
Apple's (AAPL) shares have been on a tear since late August, soaring nearly $75 (more than 30%) to close Friday at an all-time record $314.74.
Whether that proves to be the top of a long bull run or the start of an even bigger one depends on how investors react to the results scheduled to be released at MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 18, 2010 6:53 AM ET
The blogger-analysts say damn straight. The Street isn't far behind
Wall Street was more than a little skeptical in July when Apple (AAPL) CFO Peter Oppenheimer offered his revenue guidance for the quarter that ended two weeks ago: $18 billion -- a 47% increase from Sept. 2009.
"We hadn't girded ourselves for a mammoth revenue forecast," wrote Oppenheimer's Yair Reiner the next day, "and neither, we believe, had the Street."
Like MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 9, 2010 10:50 AM ET
Net income grew nearly 50% in Apple's most profitable quarter ever
It seems no matter how high Wall Street's expectations these days, Apple (AAPL) still manages to blow past them.
On Monday it hit the Street with a double whammy: not only did it announce record sales and earnings, but it changed the way it reports its iPhone sales revenue, replacing what used to be its GAAP (generally accepted accounting procedure) earnings MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 25, 2010 5:06 PM ET
Apple got whacked for no good reason in advance of Monday's earnings report
I don't pretend to understand much about how derivatives work or what hedge fund managers do, but I've been watching the ups and downs of Apple's (AAPL) stock price long enough to recognize a pattern when I see it.
This one was a classic slingshot, described succinctly by Jason Schwarz in his seminal Apple: Seven Reasons Shorts Love It:
"If MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 23, 2010 11:31 AM ET
Wall Street, caught flat footed by Apple's latest earnings, issues a slew of new price targets
Having scrambled to catch up to Apple's (AAPL) rising share price in advance of the company's quarterly earnings report, analysts fell over themselves the next day issuing price targets to reflect the buying orgy that took the stock over $202 a share in after-hours trading Monday.
According to the running list maintained at AAPLinvestors.net, 23 analysts MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 21, 2009 9:47 AM ET
How to make sense of the forward-looking statements in next week's earnings report
If history is any guide, traders will reward or punish Apple's (AAPL) shares in after-hours trading Monday based not on the quarterly earnings it reports, but on what the company says about the quarter to come -- which will almost certainly be disappointing.
You would think by now that Wall Street had figured out that Apple guides conservatively -- MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 15, 2009 7:31 AM ET
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