CNN: Apple's Earnings Report Doesn't Matter

A couple of financial reporters at CNN, Paul La Monica and Alexandra Twin, have a fairly succinct message to investors: Appleis upcoming earnings report doesnit matter. Wait, if youire an Apple junkie or an Apple shareholder, itis OK to pay attention, otherwise, ignore it. Messrs. La Monica and Twin say that those looking to see whatis happening in the tech world should look instead to Big Blue and Intel.

The comments come in a piece titled "7 that matter, 1 that doesnit," comes in advance of Appleis April 14th quarterly earnings report for the March quarter (Appleis fiscal Q2). The earnings reports that do matter, in the opinions of the reporters, will come from Gannett, Johnson & Johnson, Intel, Bank of America, Citigroup, IBM, Nokia. From the piece:

Itis been a bit of a rocky year for large tech stocks but you wouldnit know that from looking at Appleis performance: shares of the iPod maker are up 27 percent so far in 2004. And thatis on top of a nearly 50 percent gain last year.

Investors clearly have fallen in love with Steve Jobs and Apple once again thanks to the success of the iPod and its younger sibling, the iPod mini. Apple has so far stayed ahead of competitors such as Dell and Samsung in the portable music device market.

And Appleis iTunes online music store remains the top source for downloads even though that market is growing increasingly cluttered as well. Roxio relaunched Napster as a legal music service last year. And in late March, retail king Wal-Mart Stores unveiled an online music store that sells songs for 88 cents a download, 11 cents less than on iTunes.

Why it doesnit matter: Apple may be the undisputed heavyweight champ of online music. But its market share in the computer business, which still accounts for nearly two-thirds of the companyis total sales, remains Hobbit-like small.

Apple is clearly an innovative and cool company but in the grand scheme of things, its results are only significant for Mac junkies and/or Apple shareholders. Investors looking for clues about whatis happening in the broader tech world would be better off digging through the reports from Intel and IBM.

There much more in the full article.

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