Apple shows there are no accidents in the filings…

September 29, 2008

Two months ago, I took some hits from Apple fans who belittled the subtle change I had picked up (and footnoted) in Apple’s most recent 10-Q. One of those commenting — someone not brave enough to use their own name — told me to get a life and stop reading the filings (as opposed to spending time posting anonymously on blogs).

In the filing, Apple used stark new language to describe the current economic situation and its potential to have a “material adverse effect on demand for the Company’s products and services and on the Company’s financial condition and operating results. The company also used the word depressed to describe consumer spending.

At the time, Apple was trading at around $160. Today — just over two months later — it’s trading around $110. The reason for today’s big drop? Two research reports from Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets that came out earlier today which raised concerns about weakened consumer spending.

What this shows is that there are no accidents in the filings. I don’t know if the two analysts who downgraded Apple today read the last 10Q. But today’s new concerns don’t seem all that different than what Apple told its investors two months ago in the filing.

It’s these sorts of subtle, but actionable items that we’ll be focusing on when we launch FootnotedPro next week.

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