So UBS releases an update on Apple Inc. iPhone expectations and shareholders go wild. Tell me something I don't know! I'm sitting here in Terminal C at San Jose International Airport, reading the news on my BlackBerry, and the Apple nugget caught my attention.
Apple shares have been losing altitude for weeks. $140-plus down to $112 and now clawing their way back.
The recovery went into over-drive with the UBS note declaring that Apple would sell over 800,000 iPhones in its fourth fiscal quarter. Add that to the 270,000 sold and you exceed a million units. And the stock soars.
Ummm, in its earnings release a couple of weeks ago, Apple already said it anticipated selling its millionth iPhone unit in its fourth fiscal quarter. It didn't say when during the quarter that the momentous event would occur, only that it would. And truth be told, there was some disappointment on the Street that reaching the plateau would take months, not days, as some analysts had anticipated.
Nonetheless, UBS analyst Ben Reitzes states the obvious, essentially re-iterating what the company already expected. This isn't a knock on Ben. He does exceptional work and is one of the most thoughtful Apple analysts around.
I just question the newfound flurry of Apple activity. Are investors so twitchy that even the obvious spurs them to action? The Apple story is clear: iPhone is selling. Maybe more important, Macs continue to sell big, following the computer's best sales performance in Apple history last quarter. Oh, and iPod continues to do well.
I'm not saying Apple's a good buy. I don't recommend stocks one way or the other. But when you see shares plummet over the course of three weeks, for no apparent reason other than a broad-based market downdraft, there might be an opportunity there. Apple's fundamentals haven't changed. The new Macs look pretty and come just in time for back-to-school shopping.
If it takes a revisit to iPhone hype, and reiterating what the company already expected, to prop up shares, then so be it. But Apple investors should relax; not worry about the day-to-day vagaries. There seems to be plenty of rally-room left.
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