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Apple shares fall 5 percent on latest options scare

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
Shares of iPod maker Apple Computer fell more than 5 percent Wednesday morning following a report that federal prosecutors are examining potentially falsified stock-option documents to determine whether to file criminal charges.

Apple shares sunk as low $76.77, down from Tuesday's closing price of $81.51, after a report by The Recorder published on Law.com cited "individuals familiar with the case" as saying the U.S. attorney's office has shown "great interest" in the Cupertino, Calif.-based company's stock-options dealings.

The report, covered by AppleInsider on Tuesday evening, alleged that company officials forged administration documents to maximize the profitability of stock-option grants to its executives.

Apple in an October statement said its investigation into the matter "raised serious concerns regarding the actions of two former officers in connection with the accounting, recording and reporting of stock option grants."

The Recorder cited people familiar with the matter in disclosing that those two ex-officers are Nancy Heinen and Fred Anderson, the company's former general counsel and chief financial officer, respectively.

But weighing most heavily on Apple shares are concerns over chief executive Steve Jobs, who, according to the publication, has hired outside counsel separate from Apple's lawyers to deal with the SEC and Justice Department.

Until recently, Jobs had been represented by the the company's outside law firm, O'Melveny & Myers. Apple had previously stated that its own internal probe into the matter turned up no misconduct by Jobs or other current company officials.
post #2 of 50
WallStreet is a bunch of, can I say it, pussies.
post #3 of 50
buying opportunity.
The fundamentals are still there and Jobs will most likely get a slap on the wrist.
Fred and Nancy are the ones who should have known better.
Steve is a genius not an accountant or a lawyer.
post #4 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

buying opportunity.
The fundamentals are still there and Jobs will most likely get a slap on the wrist.
Fred and Nancy are the ones who should have known better.
Steve is genius not an accountant or a lawyer.

Give me a break: This sounds like the type of defense that a Jeff Skilling might adopt. The options backdating scandal is corporate America at its worst. There is no way to put lipstick on this pig. Read, for instance, today's cover story in the WSJ about options abuse and you'll see what I mean (for those with a subscription, it is here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1167...whats_news_us).

Let's face it: This is a shameful episode in an otherwise inspiring corporate career (reminds me of when the great Jack Welch was humbled by his getting GE to pay for things such as basketball tickets and flowers despite his retirement payout in the hundreds of millions).

Steve Jobs should swallow hard, perform a public mea culpa, give the (backdated) options back to the company -- or even better, to charity -- and move on. He is better off hiring a solid PR firm than a lawyer, and getting his face in the media. (He could also do what Welch did: write an apologetic op-ed piece in the WSJ).

He owes it to his stockholders, who are otherwise going to face a lot of stock price volatility.
post #5 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Steve is genius not an accountant or a lawyer.

post #6 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Give me a break: This sounds like the type of defense that a Jeff Skilling might adopt. The options backdating scandal is corporate America at its worst. There is no way to put lipstick on this pig. Read, for instance, today's cover story in the WSJ about options abuse and you'll see what I mean (for those with a subscription, it is here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1167...whats_news_us).

Let's face it: This is a shameful episode in an otherwise inspiring corporate career (reminds me of when the great Jack Welch was humbled by his getting GE to pay for things such as basketball tickets and flowers despite his retirement payout in the hundreds of millions).

Steve Jobs should swallow hard, perform a public mea culpa, give the (backdated) options back to the company -- or even better, to charity -- and move on. He is better off hiring a solid PR firm than a lawyer, and getting his face in the media. (He could also do what Welch did: write an apologetic op-ed piece in the WSJ).

He owes it to his stockholders, who are otherwise going to face a lot of stock price volatility.

I agree. This might, repeat might, have been able to be swept under the rug 10 or 20 years ago not in 2005.
post #7 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by crees! View Post

WallStreet is a bunch of, can I say it, pussies.

It makes you sound like another mindless Apple apologist, but go ahead.
post #8 of 50
What are the real consequences of all this? Is it likely to change Apple's health and performance?
post #9 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilco View Post

It makes you sound like another mindless Apple apologist, but go ahead.

No, not at all. It's an observation that in general WallStreet always reacts to things just like when a schoolgirl sees a spider. Maybe I don't understand the Street that much but some of their reactions make me think, "you gotta be kidding me, get some balls, don't go crying mommy when the wind blows hard".

Edit: Let me say this. It's like WallStreet lives in fear. Which personally, drives me nuts.
post #10 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by crees! View Post

No, not at all. It's an observation that in general WallStreet always reacts to things just like when a schoolgirl sees a spider. Maybe I don't understand the Street that much but some of their reactions make me think, "you gotta be kidding me, get some balls, don't go crying mommy when the wind blows hard".

Edit: Let me say this. It's like WallStreet lives in fear. Which personally, drives me nuts.

Wall Street is not as stupid/silly as you think.

I hate to sound schoolgirl-ish in my metaphors, but a spider is usually a sign that there are cobwebs; cobwebs a sign that there are insects; insects, often a larger sign that the cleanliness of the house leaves something to be desired (i.e., there might be other dirt).

Given the natural information asymmetry between insiders (AAPL management and board) and outsiders (Wall Street), this is exactly the kind of reaction one should expect. Which is why it is crucial for Steve Jobs to get in front of this one pronto.

His normal cute-sy penchant for secrecy ain't going to cut it on this one, I am afraid.
post #11 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by crees! View Post

No, not at all. It's an observation that in general WallStreet always reacts to things just like when a schoolgirl sees a spider. Maybe I don't understand the Street that much but some of their reactions make me think, "you gotta be kidding me, get some balls, don't go crying mommy when the wind blows hard".

Edit: Let me say this. It's like WallStreet lives in fear. Which personally, drives me nuts.

What does this analogy even mean?

Who is the "little girl" in your analogy? Wall Street? They're not initiating anything -- it's federal prosecutors.

What is "the wind"? Insider trading?

Who should be "growing balls"?

Do you even know what you mean?
post #12 of 50
Please repost the story sometime back when Wu said that Apple will be down in the 70's in Dec. Everyone called him a fool including myself. Wall Street manipulated this stock big time in the last 10 days. They all sold at 93 and then bought options at 77 or 78 and made a killing shorting the stock by selling. Now they are buying at 76 and watch this stock go up over 100 come Jan.

This story is old and it will not change the fact that they are selling millions of iPods and computers. Apple is increasing market share and the stock will reflect that once the data is confirmed.
post #13 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by g5man View Post

Please repost the story sometime back when Wu said that Apple will be down in the 70's in Dec. Everyone called him a fool including myself. Wall Street manipulated this stock big time in the last 10 days. They all sold at 93 and then bought options at 77 or 78 and made a killing shorting the stock by selling. Now they are buying at 76 and watch this stock go up over 100 come Jan.

This story is old and it will not change the fact that they are selling millions of iPods and computers. Apple is increasing market share and the stock will reflect that once the data is confirmed.

Oh yes, and Steve Jobs must be on this too with Wu et. al, by switching lawyers, etc on cue before the end of Dec., so as to make the short sellers rich.

Man, this is amazing naivete!!!!!!
post #14 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Steve Jobs should swallow hard, perform a public mea culpa, give the (backdated) options back to the company -- or even better, to charity -- and move on. He is better off hiring a solid PR firm than a lawyer, and getting his face in the media. (He could also do what Welch did: write an apologetic op-ed piece in the WSJ).

He owes it to his stockholders, who are otherwise going to face a lot of stock price volatility.

Well, actually, that has sort of already happened, so do not go down on this so hard before you get your facts straight.

Jobs did not benefit from any of these stock options backdating. Or rather, he did receive some options year back, but returned them and he has never benefitted from these accounting regulariies.
Jobs has issued an apology to the stockholders.

So. before you judge, be careful.
post #15 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I agree. This might, repeat might, have been able to be swept under the rug 10 or 20 years ago not in 2005.

That's really too bad. This is another witch hunt by the securities regulators. Isn't their job supposed to be to protect shareholders? Now they have caused a 5% slide in Apple's share price. How does that help shareholders? Will it be good for shareholders if Jobs is convicted and banned from sitting on the board of directors? I don't think so.

Share trading should be the biggest bastion of free enterprise, instead, it is the most heavily regulated market in the western world. Don't kid yourself, its not helping anyone but the regulators who are looking to make a name for themselves, and maybe earn some bonuses for bringing down big names.
post #16 of 50
I'd rather have AAPL fall 30 points temporarily... now that would be a buying opportunity!

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

Reply
post #17 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by g5man View Post

Please repost the story sometime back when Wu said that Apple will be down in the 70's in Dec. Everyone called him a fool including myself. Wall Street manipulated this stock big time in the last 10 days. They all sold at 93 and then bought options at 77 or 78 and made a killing shorting the stock by selling. Now they are buying at 76 and watch this stock go up over 100 come Jan.

This story is old and it will not change the fact that they are selling millions of iPods and computers. Apple is increasing market share and the stock will reflect that once the data is confirmed.

Quick, Gentlemen!.....


To the Wu-Mobile!



Things Ain't What They Seem!
Reply
Things Ain't What They Seem!
Reply
post #18 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obelix View Post

Well, actually, that has sort of already happened, so do not go down on this so hard before you get your facts straight.

Jobs did not benefit from any of these stock options backdating. Or rather, he did receive some options year back, but returned them and he has never benefitted from these accounting regulariies.
Jobs has issued an apology to the stockholders.

So. before you judge, be careful.

Oh, really? "Never benefitted?" Why don't you take a look at the story that appeared a week later in the same publication:

http://www.macnn.com/articles/06/10/...give.back.85m/

Perhaps you know more about this? If so, I would love to know your source.

And, the by the way, the story you cited is headlined "Jobs knew; apologizes" (An earlier post seemed to imply that Jobs had no knowldege, and that it was just the corporate lawyer and the CFO).

The point is, a lot of CEOs of tech companies were doing this; AAPL is by no means alone. A proforma apology that sounds like it was put out by the company's PR department (and assertions such as "Jobs never benefitted") are not enough. Apple and Jobs are better than that.
post #19 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Oh, really? "Never benefitted?" Why don't you take a look at the story that appeared a week later in the same publication:

http://www.macnn.com/articles/06/10/...give.back.85m/

Perhaps you know more about this? If so, I would love to know your source.

And, the by the way, the story you cited is headlined "Jobs knew; apologizes" (An earlier post seemed to imply that Jobs had no knowldege, and that it was just the corporate lawyer and the CFO).

The point is, a lot of CEOs of tech companies were doing this; AAPL is by no means alone. A proforma apology that sounds like it was put out by the company's PR department (and assertions such as "Jobs never benefitted") are not enough. Apple and Jobs are better than that.

The source of those allegations is some unnamed columnist, hardly awe inspiring. Also, Jobs may have benefited from options backdating WHICH IS NOT ILLEGAL, just that it has to be properly accounted for in the quarterly report to the shareholders, and that is the CFO's responsibility, not the CEO's.
post #20 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryand View Post

That's really too bad. This is another witch hunt by the securities regulators. Isn't their job supposed to be to protect shareholders? Now they have caused a 5% slide in Apple's share price. How does that help shareholders? Will it be good for shareholders if Jobs is convicted and banned from sitting on the board of directors? I don't think so.

Share trading should be the biggest bastion of free enterprise, instead, it is the most heavily regulated market in the western world. Don't kid yourself, its not helping anyone but the regulators who are looking to make a name for themselves, and maybe earn some bonuses for bringing down big names.

You're kidding, right?

I also suppose you also feel their investigation into Enron worked out terribly for shareholders as well...
post #21 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmightdothat View Post

You're kidding, right?

I also suppose you also feel their investigation into Enron worked out terribly for shareholders as well...

You think that this is helping Apple? Do you think going after Martha Stewart helped her company?
post #22 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryand View Post

You think that this is helping Apple? Do you think going after Martha Stewart helped her company?

This isn't helping Apple. This is helping shareholders. If shareholders can't be assured that they're buying and selling on accurate information, the whole system falls apart.

On that note, I have a company. I make 5 trillion dollars in profits. Every day. It's right here in my quarterly report. Certainly, I would never forge any figures, or make anything up. Wanna buy some stock?
post #23 of 50
The gripe here is that the SEC goes after activities that might cause damages worth $millions but doesn't go after those whose malfeasance has caused $billions of damage.
post #24 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obelix View Post

The source of those allegations is some unnamed columnist, hardly awe inspiring. Also, Jobs may have benefited from options backdating WHICH IS NOT ILLEGAL, just that it has to be properly accounted for in the quarterly report to the shareholders, and that is the CFO's responsibility, not the CEO's.

I sincerely do mean to be calling names here, but I am afraid your ignorance is a bit stunning.

1) The columnist is Graef Crystal, who, btw, is liberally named in the article, but I suppose you didn't get past the headline. He is one of the top executive compensation (and more generally, corporate governance) experts anywhere in the world. (I am not going to do your homework for you by giving you a link to his bio. Why don't you just google his name, and take it from there.)

2) The legality of backdating is not for you to assert or decide; regulators and courts will decide that. But I can tell you that, regardless of the legality, it stinks of unethical self-dealing. Heck, forget ethics. Most importantly, allowing this type of self-dealing severs the biggest supposed incentive that options were supposed to provide, which is to align the interests of managers and shareholders: If managers can give themselves a set of benefits that are delinked from the share price at the time of grant (e.g., backdating, options re-loading, re-setting the exercise price, etc.) then they have little incentive to worry about the share price. (I suggest you check out, for starters, some superb work done on this by Bebchuk and Fried of the Harvard Law School, see here: http://www.pay-without-performance.com/).

3) The CEO has no responsibility for the quarterly report? Wow. Just tell that to the jurors who convicted Lay and Skilling (and the judge who handed down the sentence). In the meantime you may want to learn a little bit about the CEO financial statement certification requirements under Section 302 the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (go to the SEC's website and browse).
post #25 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

And, the by the way, the story you cited is headlined "Jobs knew; apologizes" (An earlier post seemed to imply that Jobs had no knowldege, and that it was just the corporate lawyer and the CFO).

He did admit to knowing about it, but claimed that he didn't know that it might be considered shady activity.
post #26 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmightdothat View Post

This isn't helping Apple. This is helping shareholders. If shareholders can't be assured that they're buying and selling on accurate information, the whole system falls apart.

Touche!

Quote:
On that note, I have a company. I make 5 trillion dollars in profits. Every day. It's right here in my quarterly report. Certainly, I would never forge any figures, or make anything up. Wanna buy some stock?

post #27 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Touche!




Really? Do I need the SEC to tell me that would be a bad investment?

Again, since Apple's shares have fallen, how is the SEC's activity helping Apple shareholders?
post #28 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Oh yes, and Steve Jobs must be on this too with Wu et. al, by switching lawyers, etc on cue before the end of Dec., so as to make the short sellers rich.

Man, this is amazing naivete!!!!!!

So you are telling me that Wall street has very good reason for AAPL to go down 17 points from its high all because Steve switched lawyers? Give me a break.

These guys (not Steve at point) make millions in manipulating the stock. Cramer had a pretty good explanation of hedge fund managers doing exactly what you think is naivete on my part. They leak stories to drive the stock down and creat buying opportunities. The whole year was like this for aapl. Positive stories would come out via rumors and the stock shot up. They negative stories came out and the stock dived back in July.
post #29 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryand View Post

Really? Do I need the SEC to tell me that would be a bad investment?

Again, since Apple's shares have fallen, how is the SEC's activity helping Apple shareholders?

A long term help may mean a short term pain. Like a prick of a tetanus shot vs. getting the disease. If the SEC doesn't aggressively pursue fraud then the shareholders will eventually be hurt when it happens again.
post #30 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryand View Post

Really? Do I need the SEC to tell me that would be a bad investment?

Again, since Apple's shares have fallen, how is the SEC's activity helping Apple shareholders?

How does jailing a murderer help the victim's family? Does it bring the victim back to life?

No. It helps to prevent further murders.
post #31 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmightdothat View Post

How does jailing a murderer help the victim's family? Does it bring the victim back to life?

No. It helps to prevent further murders.

Your analogy doesn't make sense. If Apple's shares drop on news of the investigation, then its fairly clear that the investigation is hurting Apple's shares more than the backdating of the options (or not reporting that properly). Isn't this a sign that people are more afraid of the SEC than they are of the alleged malfeasors?

A better analogy would be if the police went around breaking down doors and beating up people just in case they might be committing murders. People would be more afraid of the police than they are of any actually murderers.
post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I sincerely do mean to be calling names here........

My apologies!!!!! A "not" was missing in that sentence.
post #33 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by g5man View Post

So you are telling me that Wall street has very good reason for AAPL to go down 17 points from its high all because Steve switched lawyers? Give me a break.

These guys (not Steve at point) make millions in manipulating the stock. Cramer had a pretty good explanation of hedge fund managers doing exactly what you think is naivete on my part. They leak stories to drive the stock down and creat buying opportunities. The whole year was like this for aapl. Positive stories would come out via rumors and the stock shot up. They negative stories came out and the stock dived back in July.

We all knew there was some shit in the Apple to get out of the way. Here it is! As per usual WS will make it sound AS BIG A SHIT as possible. And include a nice tree shake or two to scare away any number of weak PI's. When this shit is out of the way and their clinets have loaded up below $80. The WS street (in other words con-artists) will the switch message and will hype up the possitive news flow - beyond reality to $100+

I'm a bit miffed I missed $78 I thought it was going down on 29th which is the deadline for the restatement methinks. Ah well perhaps it will dip again!
post #34 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilco View Post

It makes you sound like another mindless Apple apologist, but go ahead.

I really don't see what the problem with the previous statement was. Apple stock dipped on misleading stories of a slide in iTunes sales. More often than not, I've seen Apple shares drop just after they post healthy profits. They often hit close to the upper end their own guidance, but they don't always hit unrealistic targets set by outsiders, so the price drops.

I think investors would do good to not jump ship the instant there is a known ice cube in the water but the Register or some other outlet calls it an iceberg.
post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by g5man View Post

So you are telling me that Wall street has very good reason for AAPL to go down 17 points from its high all because Steve switched lawyers? Give me a break.

These guys (not Steve at point) make millions in manipulating the stock. Cramer had a pretty good explanation of hedge fund managers doing exactly what you think is naivete on my part. They leak stories to drive the stock down and creat buying opportunities. The whole year was like this for aapl. Positive stories would come out via rumors and the stock shot up. They negative stories came out and the stock dived back in July.

1) AAPL did not go down 17 points because Steve Jobs switched lawyers or hedge funds leaked info; it went down a few points between yesterday and today because law.com, AI, etc reported a story that the market got very worried about (the price is almost back to where it was yseterday). Perhaps you are not a conspiracy theorist, and sites such as law.com and AI are in fact fronts for hedge funds.

2) AAPL zoomed to, and fell from 93+ over the past few weeks, having to do with rumors over the iPhone (or iTalk for iWhatever), iPod Shuffle, iTunes Store, etc. For instance, I vaguely recall that a badly researched report (put out by Forrester?) on the iTunes music store sales falling led to a massive decline a couple of weeks ago. (Again, perhaps you are not a conspiracy buff, and maybe they too are a front for a hedge fund).

3) Is it possible, based on fundamentals, that $93 is not the right price, but rather $80 is? In any event, at the P/E's at which AAPL is trading, this is the type of volatility you should expect to live with.

4) Even if all your conspiracy theories about hedge funds were true, there is no reason why you should not ride their coattails even as a "naive" investor, and profit -- for instance, you could easily have made five bucks today! (Granted, shorting is difficult to do).

5) Hedge funds attempting this sort of thing -- and I have no doubt that some of them try -- risk being put out of business by the SEC (referring to another post on why we need the SEC).
post #36 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryand View Post

Your analogy doesn't make sense.

Maybe not to stupid people.

Quote:
If Apple's shares drop on news of the investigation, then its fairly clear that the investigation is hurting Apple's shares more than the backdating of the options (or not reporting that properly). Isn't this a sign that people are more afraid of the SEC than they are of the alleged malfeasors?

A better analogy would be if the police went around breaking down doors and beating up people just in case they might be committing murders. People would be more afraid of the police than they are of any actually murderers.

Because if Apple were allowed to go around forging documents and statements all the time, then investors have absolutely no idea how Apple is performing.

Punishments don't occur to "undo" crimes. They exist to prevent future ones.

Apple already lied to shareholders. This 5% drop is nothingit's likely negligible to a long term holder. Apple being accountable to accurately disclose their performance is immeasurably important for not only Apple shareholders, but to the stock market, and the entire economy of the United States.
post #37 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

1) AAPL did not go down 17 points because Steve Jobs switched lawyers or hedge funds leaked info; it went down a few points between yesterday and today because law.com, AI, etc reported a story that the market got very worried about (the price is almost back to where it was yseterday). Perhaps you are not a conspiracy theorist, and sites such as law.com and AI are in fact fronts for hedge funds.

2) AAPL zoomed to, and fell from 93+ over the past few weeks, having to do with rumors over the iPhone (or iTalk for iWhatever), iPod Shuffle, iTunes Store, etc. For instance, I vaguely recall that a badly researched report (put out by Forrester?) on the iTunes music store sales falling led to a massive decline a couple of weeks ago. (Again, perhaps you are not a conspiracy buff, and maybe they too are a front for a hedge fund).

3) Is it possible, based on fundamentals, that $93 is not the right price, but rather $80 is? In any event, at the P/E's at which AAPL is trading, this is the type of volatility you should expect to live with.

4) Even if all your conspiracy theories about hedge funds were true, there is no reason why you should not ride their coattails even as a "naive" investor, and profit -- for instance, you could easily have made five bucks today! (Granted, shorting is difficult to do).

5) Hedge funds attempting this sort of thing -- and I have no doubt that some of them try -- risk being put out of business by the SEC (referring to another post on why we need the SEC).

Good summary. The stock was driven down by excessive selling with no real change in fundamentals. The SJ story was the final nail. I own over 1600 shares and keep buying as it takes dips like this. I am not a day or options trader so I don't lose money when it goes down like this. I am riding it out and laughing all the way to the bank.
post #38 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryand View Post

That's really too bad. This is another witch hunt by the securities regulators. Isn't their job supposed to be to protect shareholders?.

It's not my area of expertise but I think their job is to see that securites laws are not violated. Indirectly that should help investors.
post #39 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmightdothat View Post

Maybe not to stupid people.



Because if Apple were allowed to go around forging documents and statements all the time, then investors have absolutely no idea how Apple is performing.

Punishments don't occur to "undo" crimes. They exist to prevent future ones.

Apple already lied to shareholders. This 5% drop is nothingit's likely negligible to a long term holder. Apple being accountable to accurately disclose their performance is immeasurably important for not only Apple shareholders, but to the stock market, and the entire economy of the United States.

After our little battle over iPods you might find this hard to believe, but, I agree with you. All metrics of valuing stocks and companies are based on accurate and reliable reports that companies must file with the SEC. Without it, we might as well be the Russian stock exchange.
post #40 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

1) AAPL did not go down 17 points because Steve Jobs switched lawyers or hedge funds leaked info; it went down a few points between yesterday and today because law.com, AI, etc reported a story that the market got very worried about (the price is almost back to where it was yseterday). Perhaps you are not a conspiracy theorist, and sites such as law.com and AI are in fact fronts for hedge funds.

2) AAPL zoomed to, and fell from 93+ over the past few weeks, having to do with rumors over the iPhone (or iTalk for iWhatever), iPod Shuffle, iTunes Store, etc. For instance, I vaguely recall that a badly researched report (put out by Forrester?) on the iTunes music store sales falling led to a massive decline a couple of weeks ago. (Again, perhaps you are not a conspiracy buff, and maybe they too are a front for a hedge fund).

3) Is it possible, based on fundamentals, that $93 is not the right price, but rather $80 is? In any event, at the P/E's at which AAPL is trading, this is the type of volatility you should expect to live with.

4) Even if all your conspiracy theories about hedge funds were true, there is no reason why you should not ride their coattails even as a "naive" investor, and profit -- for instance, you could easily have made five bucks today! (Granted, shorting is difficult to do).

5) Hedge funds attempting this sort of thing -- and I have no doubt that some of them try -- risk being put out of business by the SEC (referring to another post on why we need the SEC).

Call me cynical but I believe this info was know by some wall street insiders, hedge fund traders or big institutional investors and they drove the stock down. Sure it's against the law but laws get broken every day.
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