Apple: Love It Or Hate It
On Wednesday, Apple will report its fourth quarter earnings. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is one of only two trillion companies, but because of its ubiquitous iPhone, it’s the most closely observed company in the world.
Investors fall into one of two camps when it comes to Apple: One camp believes its best days are behind it, and the other camp believes its best days lie ahead.
Pessimists feel Apple is a one trick pony and with sales of the iPhone slowing, there’s nothing left in the gas tank. Optimists say the push into services — music streaming, TV, cloud storage, even credit cards — among its 1.4 billion customers may have better profit margins than phones, and constitute a growing portion of revenues.* Also, the more than $100 billion in cash, and a commitment to buying back its shares, is a big plus too.
After Apple releases its report, Wall Street analysts will be looking very closely at iPhone 11 sales, services revenue, share buybacks, and the iPhone forecast. A mishap on any of these items will likely send the stock sputtering. For traders, this is a problem, but for long term investors, which is what individual investors should be, a quarterly miss is often just short term noise.
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David R. Evanson is a financial journalist in Philadelphia.
* Lee, Dami (January, 2019). Apple says there are 1.4 billion active Apple devices. The Verge. Retrieved October, 2019