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“As predicted, the headlines reporting Apple’s (AAPL) quarterly earnings last week — and the market’s immediate and violent negative reaction — failed to take into account that Q1 2013 had one less week Q1 2012,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune. “Even Tim Cook did lousy job explaining it.”

P.E.D. reports, “It fell to the Braeburn Group’s Robert Paul Leitao, an independent investor who writes a blog called Posts at Eventide, to put the situation into plain English: ‘Apple’s fiscal quarters are usually 13 weeks in length and always end on a Saturday. Every 5 or 6 years, depending on the number of leap days in the multi-year period, Apple adds a 14th week to its first fiscal quarter to align fiscal quarters closer to calendar quarters. On a weekly basis, Apple’s revenue was $4.2 billion in the recent December quarter versus $3.3 billion in the prior-year period. On an equal week basis, revenue in the quarter rose 26.7%.”

“What Leitao is too polite to mention is that the companies that make up the S&P 500 grew their revenue a comparatively anemic 3.8% in the same period, according to Capital IQ, and that without Apple’s contribution that growth would have been even lower,” P.E.D. reports. “Yet the trailing PE ratio of the average S&P stock is 17.5, and in the past week the market — driven in large part by computer algorithms that respond to ‘sentiment’ (i.e. headlines), not fundamentals — has pushed Apple’s trailing PE down to 8.6.”

Much more in the full article here.

“Last week, Apple reported its fiscal fourth-quarter results, closing out the company’s fiscal 2012,” Evan Niu writes for The Motley Fool. “Days later, the Mac maker has now officially filed its 10-K annual report with the SEC, containing a treasure trove of interesting details and tidbits about the inner workings of the largest tech company on Earth, as well as hints about its future.”

“Apple has also provided a major clue that it’s expecting a blowout quarter for the holidays,” Niu writes. “We already know that Apple’s characteristic lowball guidance calls for $52 billion in revenue in the current quarter, which would top last December’s $46.3 billion and set a new all-time record for the iPhone maker… Apple’s manufacturing and component purchase commitments have just skyrocketed sequentially to $21.1 billion. That’s an increase of $7.5 billion compared to the last quarter and is Apple’s highest by far.”

Niu writes, “These off-balance sheet commitments are effectively debt that Apple owes, even though it technically has no on-balance-sheet debt. That means that Apple is gearing up to meet massive demand for the arsenal of products that it’s unveiled over the past two months, which it expects to drive 80% of revenue this quarter. That’s a big commitment, so the company must be confident in its demand forecasts. This is the clearest sign that Apple is expecting a monster quarter.”

Read more in the full article here.

“When did Scott Forstall know he was in trouble at Apple? His share sales may provide a clue,” Owen Thomas reports for The Business Insider. “In late April, he sold 95 percent of his holdings of Apple shares, clearing $38 million after taxes.”

“Forstall is serving as an advisor to Cook until he leaves the company “next year”-no date specified,” Thomas reports. “In November 2011, Forstall got a grant of 150,000 shares in the form of restricted stock units, vesting in two tranches. Half the shares vest on June 21, 2013. At current prices, those shares are worth about $45 million before taxes.”

Thomas reports, “The second half of his 2011 bonus doesn’t vest until 2016. He has another 100,000-share grant which doesn’t vest until 2014. Those total $105 million at today’s share prices. We assume he’s losing those shares, though it’s possible Apple might accelerate his vesting or otherwise provide some partial compensation.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Analysts: Momentous Apple shakeup could be just what the doctor ordered – October 31, 2012
Can Apple exec Eddy Cue work his magic on Apple Maps? – October 31, 2012
Jony Ive’s minimalist design sensibilities likely to reshape the future of iOS, OS X – October 31, 2012
Now the real Jony Ive era begins at Apple Inc. – October 30, 2012
Analysts: Apple’s executive shakeup a consolidation, not cause for concern – October 30, 2012
Apple: Forstall pushed out by Cook, source says; news met with ‘quiet jubilation’ inside Apple – October 30, 2012
Apple CEO Tim Cook executes major management shake-up at world’s most valuable company – October 30, 2012
Tim Cook takes full control of Apple: John Browett and Scott Forstall out; Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi get expanded responsibilities – October 29, 2012
Apple software designers sick of doing things Scott Forstall’s way; ‘civil war’ said breaking out – October 10, 2012
Tim Cook open letter: We fell short with new Maps app; we are extremely sorry – September 28, 2012
Apple newbie John Browett brings Dixons to Apple Retail Stores – August 17, 2012

An Apple CEO-in-waiting, Scott Forstall, sells 95% of his company shares – May 2, 2012

In NASDAQ trading today, Apple Inc. (AAPL) shares gained $8.30, or 1.22%, on well above average volume of 21,231,167 shares to set a new all-time closing high of $691.28.

Apple’s previous all-time closing high was $682.98, set on September 13, 2012.

Apple’s all-time intraday high is $685.50, also set during trading today. Apple’s 52-week low stands at $354.24.

Apple’s market value currently stands at $648.01 billion.

The top five U.S. publicly-traded companies, based on market value:
1. Apple (AAPL) – $648.01B
2. Exxon Mobil (XOM) – $426.05B
3. Microsoft (MSFT) – $261.65B
4. Wal-Mart (WMT) – $250.43B
5. IBM (IBM) – $236.34B

Selected companies’ current market values:
Google (GOOG) – $232.09B
Intel (INTC) – $116.92B
Amazon (AMZN) – $118.11B
Cisco (CSCO) – $103.92B
Disney (DIS) – $93.93B
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) – $35.81B
Yahoo! (YHOO) – $18.68B
Dell (DELL) – $18.79B
Adobe (ADBE) – $16.40B
Sony (SNE) – $13.09B
Nokia (NOK) – $11.06B
Sirius XM (SIRI) – $9.47B
Research In Motion (RIMM) – $3.90B
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) – $2.76B
RealNetworks (RNWK) – $0.28B

AAPL quote via NASDAQ here.