Eagle Eye Opener: Apples Takes a Hit; Netflix is a Pleasant Surprise; Nokia Halts Dividend

Eagle Eye Opener

Apple Shares Down 10% in After Hours Trading (Reuters)

This morning, Apple, Inc. (AAPL) delivered its Q4 2012 earnings and, just as expected, underperformed the consensus projections of analysts. Investors didn’t miss that cue to punish the wilting tech giant by pushing the company’s share price down even farther. In after-hours trading, shares careened down to $463 each — a 10 percent drop which wiped out some $50 billion in market value. Fear of an earnings swoon began weeks ago as reports of production cutbacks and reduced orders for parts manufacturers began to surface. How far shares plummet from here is anyone’s guess.

Netflix Jumps 35%: For Every Action, There’s a Reaction (YahooFinance)

At the other end of the earnings spectrum from Apple, we find Netflix (NFLX). The powerhouse online streaming company surprised Wall Street with stronger than expected earnings — and saw its shares skyrocket 35 percent in after-hours trading. The company reported net income of $8 million for Q4 2012, after it had sent investors a letter earlier in the year warning of expected poor performance through year’s end. What hadn’t been anticipated was the addition of nearly four million new customers in the quarter — more than compensating for any anticipated downturn. With that kind of surprise, investors will welcome a letter from the company every quarter.

Nokia’s 143-Year Iron Man Streak Snapped (Bloomberg)

No disrespect to Cal Ripken, but his streak of 2,632 continuous games played seems like a mere pixel on an 84” high-def screen compared to the investment world’s Iron Man streak that ends this quarter. For the first time in at least 143 years, Finnish telecom giant Nokia will NOT pay a quarterly dividend to investors. Even though the company reported its first net income in seven quarters, along with a net increase in cash, management still decided stockpiling cash for the company’s comeback efforts was a priority over paying dividends… And the market seems to approve this decision, as shares are up in after-hours trading. Is this the start of a second 143-year streak?  We’ll see.

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