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Wall Street to AAPL: Get bent

OK, I get it. Equity investments are bets on the future, not rewards for the past, and a stock like Apple's with such stratospheric growth over the past 12 months is vulnerable to gloomy outlooks in a way that more plodding investments might not be. Still and all: another record quarter. Best sales, best revenue in Apple's history. More than 2.3 million Macs sold, and nearly as many iPhones (!). Over twenty-two million freakin' iPods. Year over year, the December quarter gained almost 2.5 billion dollars in revenue -- my goodness, it was a 9.6B quarter, which would have been a spectacular entire year for the Apple of recent memory. Apple beat the internal guidance by $0.34 a share... there's no way to describe this financial performance except "stunningly good" -- unless you're Doug Krizner of Marketplace Morning Report, who characterized the results today as "less than stellar." Man, I am so happy they made that guy stop signing off with "Make it a good day," because the way he said it made me want to get back in bed and hide my money under a mattress.

But I digress. With these results in mind, why would after-hours traders respond with the fiscal equivalent of "Go crawl in a hole and die, you hippie freaks?" Granted, Apple's CFO is anticipating earnings per share for next quarter around a dollar, which is less than analysts were hoping for and may point to some drag on the business from deteriorating economic conditions. It still seems to me that with iPhone revenue growing (remember, it takes two years to extract all the profit from those iPhone sales, so there's an upslope out there as the sales and new markets accumulate) and new streams coming in from iTunes rentals and the so-hot-it's-untouchable retail operation, we've gone from irrational exuberance to a gang initiation beatdown.

Oh well. If I wanted peace and quiet I probably should have bought Dell stock.

Disclaimer: I hold shares in AAPL. Bought them at a split-adjusted $13. Not selling, either.

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