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Can Apple Buy Wall Street's Love? (No!)

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by Jon Friedman
April 23, 2013 10:31 PM
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Apple Inc. is trying to buy Wall Street's love -- but it won't work.

Apple (AAPL) reported only so-so earnings results after the bell on Tuesday, further disappointing investors who are growing accustomed to hearing the same old song from CEO Tim Cook: We are working on promising new products.No, we're not going to tell you what they are. Yes, you will really love them. No, I can't say when.  Any more questions?

Apple's stock initially rose about 5% in after-hours trading on Apple's pledge of a much higher cash-return platform for stockholders. But the laughing gas quickly wore off and the shares had retreated by the end of Apple's conference call.

Apple's stock has plunged more than 40% over the past few months, reversing the saga of a stock that exceeded $700 last September and only seemed capable of going up and up. A

pple's stock ended the regular trading session Tuesday ahead nearly 2% to $406.13.

After the closing bell, Apple announced that it was increasing its dividend by 15% and raising its share-buyback plan by $50 billion.

Apple is mistaken if it thinks those cosmetic moves will make up for its failure -- so far -- to declare the launch of a major NEW product under the Tim Cook regime. Investors want to see news of a new product, not another iPhone or iPad wrinkle.

Cook acknowledged that the drop in Apple's stock price has been "very frustrating to all of us" during the Apple conference call.  He added that Apple will concentrate on delivering "innovative products"

Cook vowed that Apple will eventually introduce "some amazing new hardware, software services that we can't wait to introduce this fall and throughout 2014."

Wall Street is looking for enhancements of the iPhone -- which is money in the bank for Apple -- as well as new versions of the iPad.

For the three months ended in March, Apple had net income of $9.5 billion, or $10.09, against net income of $11.6 billion, or $12.30 a share for the year-ago period. Revenue jumped 11% to $43.6 billion.

Apple shipped 37 million iPhones and 19.5 million iPads, Wall Street had projected 36 million iPhones and 18 million iPads.

What do you make of all of these pronouncements and new data?

Apple is playing a waiting game for now. It is treading waer with Wall Street, biding its time until it is ready to unveil its "amazing" new products.

Wall Street will be watching and waiting.



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