Apple gets almost-annual “certain inhibitions”, largely due to regular questions about iPhone sales, often in China but sometimes more generally. Sometimes other product lines figure into the movement, but the iPhone is the biggest factor
Then-current dips in demand are probably real and usually seasonal, but when they’re measured against projections, I get skeptical. As a (very) long-term AAPL investor, I’m as positive about Apple as (almost) anybody, but there’s an inherent uncertainty to any such projection that analysts tend to either underestimate – vastly – or seemingly not take into account. That’s the physicist in me talking – a projected value without an included uncertainty (e.g. $N billion +/- $sigma billion in sales) is inherently worthless. Analysts, whisper numbers, etc. never include the sigma, whatever it may be, and when Apple misses the centroid but stays within the +/- sigma range, it’s reported that Apple exceeded or missed expectations rather than hit the expected range. Note that this goes both ways.
(Actually, I don’t know if notes to investors within firms include the uncertainty values, since I don’t read them and don’t have easy access to them. I read only what’s reported in the press.)
We used to say here that analysts simply “don’t understand Apple”, but I don’t think that’s true any more. Apple’s been so dominant for so many years that it’s hard not to understand, and quantitative analysts almost certainly do understand the importance of uncertainties in projections coupled with incomplete current knowledge (e.g. of supply chain, demand, inventory, channel, etc.). I do think, though, that analysts dumb-down their public statements – and/or reporters relay a dumbed-down summary of the statements to the general public – which, when coupled with the aggregate lack of long-term memory among the population of short term investors and traders, results in the kinds of moves we see recently (downward or upward). All it takes is one statement by one firm to spark some sort of swing which will be forgotten in a quarter. The aggregate intelligence of the market is greater than that of the individual, except when it isn’t.
All of which is my long-winded way of saying that, being a LTBH investor like g0177325, swings like this don’t bother me too much. Maybe it bothers me a bit more than him, but I’ve weathered enough dips to have built up some tolerance to them, even if I still dislike unpredictability.