Originally Posted by MacRulez
I think the link jragosta included was one of the most relevant here. This moment offers an opportunity for a sober reassessment of fundamentals, which have been sorely off base. Not Apple's fundamentals, which have generally been proven sound, but the fundamentals of analysis.
In recent years Apple's growth rate caused analysts to get completely wild with their predictions, and when Apple beat even those the predictions the next round got even more wild, continuing into a stratosphere that risked becoming unrealistic given the complex factors involved. At some point, it was inevitable that expectations return to Earth.
IMNSHO, the problem here isn't Apple at all, but the same sort of "irrational exuberance" that led to the dot-bomb bust. The details differ, but the unrealistic expectations are quite similar.
At some point, the so-called professionals entrusted with other people's money need to slow down and look at the big picture.
This doesn't mean Apple needs to slow down; they're fine. It's the analysts who need to get a grip and understand that stratospheric growth isn't infinitely sustainable in any economy, not Apple's nor anyone else's.
All systems are cyclic, even Apple's. That Apple's last quarter was merely great rather than insanely great isn't Apple's fault, but merely the fault of the insane.
I think both of you miss the point of what I was saying. No matter how you cut it, it is new that the pessimists, the ones who are generally ridiculed on these boards for not being giddy enough, were right this time. It is also new that the unaffiliated analysts, who are generally lionized here for being so much more accurate than the (as you've put it) the "so-called professionals," were far off the mark.
Also, none of this really creates any kind of "issue." Investors read the guidance and make pre-earnings investing decisions accordingly. The bullish estimates caused the stock to rise to record levels (and I don't recall anyone complaining about that). If the company doesn't produce those earnings, then the stock is going to get beaten back down some. The same is true for AAPL or any other stock. If that's a problem for you, then you aren't a person who should be buying individual stocks, because it will drive you crazy on a daily basis.