The consensus on Wall Street seems to be unanimous: for the first time in decade, Apple will report lower income this quarter than it did the year before. But don’t panic: even Wall Street doesn’t think Apple’s era of profitability and innovation is at an end.
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Apple shares took a tumble today, with a over six percent loss, making this the largest stock drop in a single day, making it the biggest one in four years. Analysts and other investors are blaming the sell-off and resulting stock price drop on many factors, including a recent forecast by an influential firm that Google’s Android operating system continues to gain ground, as well as unconfirmed reports that at least one stock-clearing house has been raising margin requirements on trades in Apple stock.
In the 1994 Oscar-winning movie Forrest Gump, there’s a short scene in which Tom Hanks’s character opens a letter of thanks from Apple after his former military colleague and business partner Lieutenant Dan invested some of the profits from the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company in “some kind of fruit company.”
If Gump was real and if he was still clinging on to his investment today, he could have a staggering 12 million shares in the Cupertino company, worth around $7 billion.
Let’s look at a few facts.
Apple Retail stores were the number one retailer last year, taking in more money per square foot than any other US retailer, including number two Tiffany, which made a bit more than half of that. Sounds good, right? Then take a look at what a retail employee, Jordan Golson, has to say.
“I was earning $11.25 an hour,” he said. “Part of me was thinking, ‘This is great. I’m an Apple fan, the store is doing really well.’ But when you look at the amount of money the company is making and then you look at your paycheck, it’s kind of tough.”
The disconnect between the incredible success of the corporation and the relatively low-end pay scale of its retail employees, as well as the reasons those retail employees continue to work for Apple, is the subject of a report in the New York Times today.
Apple’s stock price has continued to rise at an incredible rate for months, leading one analyst to predict that its shares will reach $1,000 by 2014, making it the world’s first trillion-dollar company.
Bob Mansfield is Apple’s Senior Vice President of hardware engineering, who earlier this week sold 99% of his shares in the company for $13.7 million, according to an SEC filing. Mansfield frequently trades his Apple stock; selling shares while they’re at their peak, then buying more as they fall with a 15% employee discount. His latest sale is his largest so far.
On Monday, Mansfield reportedly sold 38,863 of his Apple shares – leaving him with just 501 – each worth $351.89. Over the last three years, Mansfield has sold almost $58.5 million worth of investments, taking home $37.9 million after taxes.