Monday, February 25, 2013

Apple: Why bad news just keeps on coming

From Marketwatch: For a test case of Wall Street analysts’ perverse incentives, look no further than Apple Inc. After rising to giddy heights, the stock has been unable to catch a break lately.

That is in no small part due to those incentives, which cause bad news to get incorporated into stock prices only gradually. One surprising consequence, according to researchers, is that unfavorable news tends to come in waves rather than being randomly interspersed with good news.

Apple’s  shares hit their all-time high of $705 on Sept. 21. At the time, the consensus forecast for Apple’s fiscal 2013 earnings — among the more than four dozen analysts tracked by FactSet — was $53.56 a share. That number has been revised downward numerous times: By the end of last year, for example, it stood at $49.08 — and currently is at $44.56...

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