More Than 40% of Investors Think Wall Street is Too Optimistic About Apple
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) earnings results have become a vicious cycle. The company cannot report a single sales figure -- record-breaking or not -- without disappointing some analysts and investors.
When the iPhone 5 came out, the company sold more than five million units worldwide, beating the previous record set by the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 5 also beat out records set by other smartphone manufacturers.
That was not good enough for Wall Street. With select analysts telling the world that Apple will sell as many as 10 million units in a weekend, investors expected more from the Cupertino, California-based tech giant.
In China, Apple sold two million units the moment the iPhone 5 was released. That was not enough to satisfy investors, who continued to abandon Apple in the days that followed.
The Mac maker did not perform any better when it announced that it sold three million tablets when the iPad Mini and iPad 4 were released.
Apple lost more than 12 percent of its value after announcing that it had sold 47.8 million iPhones in the fiscal first quarter. To be clear, that record-breaking number is 10 million units higher than the iPhone 4S sold during the year ago period.
Regardless, investors were disappointed because they had expected Apple to sell more than 50 million units. Even if that expectation were justified, 47.8 million units is very close to 50 million. Thus, it seems that some investors will never be satisfied.
To see if that is indeed the case, Yahoo Finance (NASDAQ: YHOO) asked the following question in a poll this week:
Apple posted record earnings, but shares are still getting slammed. Is the company a victim of high expectations?
- Yes, the Street is way too optimistic (30,612 votes) -- 44 percent
- No, fears about growth are justified (13,369 votes) -- 19 percent
- If you rise too high too fast, you're bound to have a hard landing (25,939 votes) -- 37 percent
In an attempt to bring those expectations back to reality, Apple announced that it expects to report revenue between $41 billion and $43 billion during the second quarter. Not surprisingly, investors were not happy about this either.
After posting record quarterly revenue of $54.5 billion and record quarterly net profit of $13.1 billion during the first quarter, investors expected Apple to continue growing. And if the company does keep growing, they will likely argue that Apple did not grow large enough.
If 44 percent of investors think Wall Street is too optimistic, that leaves another 56 percent who may be tempted to dump the stock. Consequently, Apple could continue to tumble.
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