Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s stock has been bouncing back big time since last month’s uninspiring quarterly report.
Shares of the consumer tech giant have soared 13% in the past seven trading days through yesterday’s close.
It may seem strange. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s stock chart and its fundamentals appear to be passing ships. Analysts are whittling away their profit estimates on the company just as the stock is showing signs of bottoming out.
As one can imagine, Wall Street’s profit targets have come down even more since last week’s disappointing guidance. The outlook may have been merely for the current quarter, but the pros have been talking down Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s bottom-line prospects all the way out to fiscal 2014.
It’s pretty grim.
Let’s see where analysts were perched in recent months.
|Date||2013 EPS||2014 EPS|
|120 days ago||$48.81||$57.35|
|90 days ago||$44.72||$50.92|
|60 days ago||$44.59||$50.51|
|30 days ago||$44.12||$49.79|
Most online sources only go out to three months, but I had already done this exercise last month so I can travel back four months to see how swift the revisions have come through two unsettling quarterly reports.
Apple stock, lock, and barrel
Yes, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has taken a hit over the past four months. Shares of the company have fallen 17% in 2013. However, in that time we’ve seen Wall Street’s profit targets decline by 18% for fiscal 2013 and 23% for fiscal 2014.
In other words, Apple stock isn’t necessarily cheaper. In fact, its forward earnings multiple has expanded even as its share price has retreated.
This isn’t some widespread tech epidemic.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) — the company that is the most responsible for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s contracting margins given the success of its Android mobile operating platform — isn’t attracting backpedalling prognosticators. Wall Street’s profit target on Google for 2013 has grown from $45.68 a share to $46.12 a share over the past three months.
Interesting factoid: Four months ago, Apple was expected to earn more than Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) on a per-share basis this year. That’s no longer the case.