It's important to remember as we go through these, people, that there are no stupid questions. What's stupid is the thought process that leads someone to ask the question. That may seem like semantics, but it leads to motive.
The Economist asks "Has Apple peaked?"
Apple spends a few months just doing what ordinary companies do, not introducing anything that turns an entire market upside down, and it's all over.
The world's most valuable firm may be past its prime
Exxon? Past its prime? Say it isn't so.
It depends on what day you ask and what stage of market insanity we're in, but with Apple's recent stock drop, Exxon was again the largest company in the world the last time the Macalope looked.
TECH blogs are abuzz. Pundits are busy pumping out predictions.
You're describing any day that ends in a "y."
But this time the fuss is not about an Apple product: it is about Samsung's latest Galaxy smartphone, which is likely to be launched in March.
Oh, psych! You got schooled Samsung-style, Apple fans! That is to say you were schooled via a dim simulacrum of how you would have been schooled had it been Apple.
Two things have whetted the bears' appetites.
Salmon and honey.
Oh, sorry. We are not talking about actual bears. Which is kind of too bad, because at least actual bears--unlike Wall Street bears--make rational decisions. Usually, of course, their decisions are based on salmon and honey, so it's kind of hard to go wrong.
"I should eat this salmon. And later eat some honey."
Nailed it, actual bear!
First, Steve Jobs, Apple's founder and creative genius, is dead.
And he apparently died since the huge run-up on the stock over last summer, if we are to believe the fallacy that Apple's share price makes a lick of sense.
Second, Apple's fantastic profit margins--38.6% on sales of $55 billion--attract competitors like sweetshops attract six-year-olds.
And so far only one of the precocious little imps has been able to score so much as a gumdrop.
The company's fans pooh-pooh the idea that Apple has peaked.
We also "pew-pew!" it by shooting imaginary lasers at it.
The firm's price-earnings ratio--11.6 at close of business on January 23rd--is not much different from Microsoft's (see chart 2). That makes Apple's shares look relatively sexy.
Paging Mat Honan. Mat Honan to the white courtesy phone, please.
A drizzle of negative news had already dampened investors' ardour before this week's earnings announcement. Apple bungled the introduction of its new mapping app, and there were rumours of cuts in component orders for the iPhone 5.
And that's what it takes. One bad app and some rumors that were pretty much disproved by strong iPhone sales from the fourth calendar quarter. Amazon, meanwhile, continues to ride high on smoke and mirrors, and they're all out of mirrors.
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