Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is bracing to report its earnings for the second fiscal quarter of 2013 after Tuesday’s closing bell, and the company has likely put itself in a very odd position. Earnings time is the time to see if Apple continues to be the Rodney Dangerfield stock among analysts and investors.
Because it sure seems that Apple can get no respect, no respect at all.
And Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) really has no one to blame but itself. The company has continued to show dramatic, even explosive at times, growth to where it had beaten its own and analysts’ profit expectations for most of the last 10 years.
Apple just in January set a company record for revenue in a quarter and posted one of the highest such numbers for any company in the history of publicly traded companies. Yet, this record-breaking company has seen its stock fall from a high of $705 in September to under $400 now (entering Monday’s trading day at just a shade more than $390 per share).
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is indicating that its next quarterly earnings report just might set more records, but unless it breaks through its own estimated range and beats analysts, the stock could be in jeopardy again. It is said that the stock market tends to predict the future rather than serve a a snapshot of what is happening currently.
If that is the case, then what might this bear market mean for Apple?
If the market is truly a predictor, then this week may not be about Apple’s earnings report as much as it might be about the conference call afterward, where CEO Tim Cook and others from the company get on the phone and not only talk the current earnings numbers, but also try to give hints and guidance about where the company is going in the short- and long-term.
It seems so far that, while the consensus prediction is that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will post nearly $43 billion in revenue and an EPS of about $10.12 per share in this latest quarter, the market might be predicting that not only are the days of dramatic growth over for the company, but perhaps so might be the days of the company producing revolutionary and innovative products.
If Apple has a card up its sleeve to play, it might be a good idea to play it sooner rather than later. But knowing Apple’s legendary silence on most matters involving its stock or its products, it doesn’t seem very likely that a major announcement will be coming this week.
In the short-term, there is no expectation that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will announce any larger dividend or an expanded stock buyback (which many say would lift the stock price – though others see that as artificial, arbitrary and temporary), nor does anyone expect either a major long-term announcement such as a new device (like a larger iPhone, an iWatch or iTV) or a major deal with China Mobile, the largest wireless carrier in the world which currently doesn’t carry Apple’s iPhone.
What does all of this mean in Tuesday’s earnings report?