Apple Investors Talk Back: 'On Target' or 'Garbage'?

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Hours away from Apple's earnings, as you might expect, investors are a little nervous -- with a stock going from $119 to just short of $170, and then back to $160 in a matter of weeks.

Some of you have written in with your thoughts ahead of earnings. Here's a sampling:

Rob Reed says 90 percent of his portfolio is Apple (Rob, time to start thinking "diversification!"). He says he's a little worried about guidance, but thinks "incoming numbers will be enough to catapult Apple higher."

He adds that he completely agrees with my comment yesterday that "Apple's comeback in the last month is due to the fact that the stock has been ridiculously beaten down since early January. Not because everyone's expecting a blowout report. Yet, negative analysts try to spin it by saying the stock has risen 45 percent recently. Unbelievable!"

Andy Zaky is a long-time reader with his own Apple blog (
He offers his own estimates of $1.33 in EPS, $7.449 billion in revenue; 2.35 million Macs sold; 10.5 million to 11.3 million iPods sold; and 1.7 million iPhones sold. He writes, "I think you'll be amazed at my calls." I read his post. Pretty good stuff. Let's see how accurate he turns out to be. Thanks, Andy!

Pedro is long on Apple.
He tells me, "once again, your analysis is on target." He asks, "Does the stock behave according to the company's fundamentals or does it behave according to the speculators?"

He brings up an interesting point, in bold-face in his email: "The many (analysts) that spent the whole quarter parroting recession and consumer retraction making sure the stock would bottom out, now all of a sudden, at the last minute, come up with unrealistically high numbers." I'm not sure that's happening as often as you think, but I agree there seem to be a lot of last minute changes after a bruising quarter of doubts and concerns.

Robert O'Neil imagines I'm in "desperate need of a clone...with all the companies reporting this week."

Yeah, I'm not sure the people I work with could stand another "me," but he offers a reasonable synopsis of the Apple trading activity this past quarter, and of those who took some cash off the table ahead of earnings: "There will always be those individuals that will be more committed to the trade-of-the-day, but over the course of the year I can't help thinking of what they'll be missing out on." I guess we'll know for sure after the bell today.

And finally, for now, Tony Boutros isn't having any of it.
"You people are irresponsible in your pumping of bloated tech stocks like Apple. Apple does nothing that is essential for survival, it is a consumer discretionary piece of garbage."

Oh wait, there's more from Boutros: "With oil prices skying, food prices skying, and job growth negative, how the hell do you sleep at night pumping a company that does nothing but sell toys. Are you kidding me?"

My response, which I sent him individually: "Wow Tony, lots of hostility there. I appreciate your frustration, but whether the company makes iPhones, tractors or fill-in-the-blank widget, you can't argue with the profits and growth this company is experiencing, and as someone covering interesting business stories, I think it's a story worth telling. Not pumping a company, just giving you the facts to help you make informed investment decisions, which could lead to profits, which could help you pay off that gas card or grocery bill." I'm not being flip, or rude. Just honest.

That's just a taste of what some of you are thinking about.

Apple's numbers should hit the tape around 4:30pm ET. I'm watching emails today, so if you've got some thoughts to share before those numbers are released, send 'em along.

Questions? Comments?