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When Apple gaps higher immediately following its after-hours earnings report, the next day it typically gives back some of that gain, declining by an average of nearly 1 percent between the opening and closing bells.
Birinyi Associates studied Apple's post-earnings behavior since 2009. It found Apple stock has gapped up, or shot higher 65 percent of the time right after its earnings report, in the period between the earnings release in the after-hours market session to the last price in pre-market trading.
The average positive gap in that period was 4.7 percent.
Then Birinyi measured the performance from the opening price to the closing price on the next day, and found Apple, whether it gapped higher or lower, has traded lower 65 percent of the time for an average 0.92 percent decline from the open to close.
Apple's earnings, reported after Tuesday's close , beat on both earnings and revenues, and its stock jumped as much as 5 percent before settling in to a smaller 3.3 percent gain. Apple reported slightly lower-than-expected iPhone sales but gave better-than-expected guidance for the third fiscal quarter. Apple shares were up 2.3 percent to $169.10 per share Tuesday, ahead of the late-day earnings release. On average, Apple gains 1.5 percent on its earnings reporting day. Apple earned $2.73 per share, better than the $2.67, adjusted, expected by Thomson Reuters consensus estimate. Revenue was $61.1 billion, better than the $60.9 billion analysts expected. In the last earnings period, Apple reported better-than-expected earnings on Feb. 1 but saw its stock decline 1 percent from when it reported earnings in the afternoon to the final trade in the pre-market, before the opening bell. It then traded down 3.3 percent from the opening bell to the close. Birinyi said the company has beaten earnings estimates 89 percent of the time since 2009 and revenue forecasts 78 percent of the time. Apple on average has gained 2 percent in the week after its earnings report.