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]
The law of large numbers says it must. Not anytime soon, says Robert Paul Leitao.
The law of large numbers as applied to finance (as opposed to flipping a coin) says that as a company grows, its chances of sustaining large percentage revenue gains diminish. That's because an expanding enterprise must grow faster and faster just to maintain a constant percentage growth rate. Indeed, a company growing 30% to 50% a MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 5, 2010 8:49 AM ET
Analysts either don't believe Apple's revenue guidance, or they're deliberately low-balling it
Anybody who follows its earnings reports can tell you that Apple (AAPL) guides conservatively, under-estimating its forward-looking numbers to demolish them at the end of the quarter.
Only once in the past 23 quarters -- in the summer of 2006 -- did it miss its revenue guidance, by 0.7%. In the other 22 the company beat its MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 25, 2010 6:13 AM ET
|Homeless college students seek shelter during breaks|
|Another strong quarter for Smith & Wesson|
|Five things you didn't know about Bernie Madoff's epic scam|
|Don't fight it. Bitcoin has a bright future|
|JPMorgan patents Bitcoin-like payment system|