Apple After Hours
Down 8%! Aaagh!
Recovering...recovering...AACK! Still down 6%!
Recovering...recovering...Bleagh! Down 5% still! BUT THEY BLEW PAST EXPECTATIONS! What the h-e-l-l is the problem, Wall Street? $20 billion in revenue not enough for ya?
Well, let's be rational for a moment: At this stage in Apple's corporate life, they can't actually exceed earnings expectations. The expectation has become that they will exceed expectations. Therefore, they have to not only exceed, but exceed by such a ridiculous amount that positive news in any one sector of its business can cause minor panic if it isn't the super-best-most-awesomest-news-ever.
It has to be expected that speculation will be strong in the run-up to the quarterly announcements, and that traders will take their profits on Apple's earnings...and that's exactly what happened. So, a noticeable after-hours dip was wholly unavoidable.
The facts stand that Apple had an amazing quarter (several of them, to be sure). Sales of iPhones and Macs are strong, and growing. Sales of iPads appear soft versus some estimates, but the total numbers are strong...and growing. A few questions remain about supply issues with iPad and what, exactly, Apple intends to do with $50 billion in cash (seriously, Steve, buy something...a company, land, patents, outstanding AAPL shares, an NFL franchise...$30 billion cash hoard, I was still defending you, but $50 billion? Getting a little ridiculous).
Given those facts, I'm not going to sweat a 5% or 8% dip on profit-taking. This company remains on my long list.