Better-than-predicted results, and shifts from other tech stocks, lifts AAPL toward $600

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Investors seem to have taken heed of analyst ratings in response to the higher-than-predicted earnings Apple reported last week, the share price climbing from $524.75 before the company released its financials to approaching $600 at the time of writing.

Fortune suggests Apple’s results isn’t the only factor at play, with investors perhaps also following Greenlight Capital’s lead in moving out of other tech stock with particularly high price to earnings ratios – the measure of how a share price relates to its earnings. The higher the P/E ratio, the more over-valued it looks according to traditional measures …  Read more

Over half analysts surveyed expect AAPL to beat its own high-end guidance today

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Update: The analysts were right to be optimistic, but not optimistic enough

As we wait for Apple to announce its Q4 results in this afternoon’s earnings call, more than half of the analysts included in Fortune’s survey expect the company to beat its high-end guidance of $37B. The average is driven up by the amateurs, who come in at $37.38B, while the professionals expect just a touch under the top end at $36.95B.

Predictions on both revenues and earnings do vary markedly, however. While the consensus view is that year-on-year revenues will be up 3 percent and earnings down 6 percent, even among the professionals the earnings estimates span a 15 percent range.

Top: FBN’s Shelby Seyrafi: $39.18 billion (up 9% year over year)
Bottom: Cantor Fitzgerald’s Brian White: $34.57 billion (down 4%)

Apple beating its own guidance wouldn’t have been remarkable in the days when Apple gave absurdly pessimistic guidance and then blew it away, but would be impressive since Cook started offering realistic ranges …  Read more