Originally Apple was forecast to earn $0.45 per share, but then Mr. Anderson warned shareholders to expect $0.31 to $0.33 after he looked over the preliminary sales numbers for the 4th quarter on September 28th.
However, the so-called "whisper number" for Appleis earnings is closer to $0.36 per share. In this case the whisper number is derived from a handful of investorsi best guesstimates of what Appleis real earnings will be.
Whether Apple beats its lowered estimates or not probably wonit matter as much to investors as the guidance Apple offers for next yearis numbers. If Apple decides to cut estimates for next year in line with the lowered figures for Q4, then a sell-off in the stock could push AAPL towards its bedrock support levels in the $18 to $16 range.
Mr. Anderson ominously warned, "We are currently reevaluating our plans going forward, and will provide lower growth targets for next quarter and the next fiscal year when we announce our final results on October 18."
Apple will provide live audio streaming of its fiscal year 2000 and fourth quarter results conference call via QuickTime on today at 2 PM PDT.
For other stories regarding Appleis stock activity, visit our Apple Stock Watch Special Report.