I am not an expert on stocks so take "my" statements with care yet I will say I was wise enough to invest in Apple, when it was around $10 in 2004. Now Silicon Alley Insider is predicting, after consulting real experts, AAPL which is $172.16 now, will go past moon, soon.
That is due to an account rule change, may eventually allow Apple to book most iPhone revenue upfront (Currently the revenues is spread over two years due to subsidizing of iPhone for a two year contract). Doing so would not change the company's cash flow, so there would be no actual change in the theoretical value of the company or stock.
But boys and girls on Wall street will look at favorably at Apple and Company's reported earning will get a real boost. Compared to the statements, Apple Stock may look cheap to some uninformed investors like me, causing the account change to change the value of AAPL. So if analysts are right, you may have to rent Space Shuttle to catch the stock. I can't wait!
(Disclaimer, As I mentioned, I got my AAPL, a long long time ago and like to see it go higher than the moon ! :)
- The rule change. SOP 97-2 is the accounting standard that requires Apple to recognize iPhone revenues and profits over a 24-month period. The basic concept is that because Apple offers free software updates on the device, it has to recognize the revenues and costs over the life of the hardware. After intense lobbying by several technology companies, however, FASB agreed to review the rule. The EITF (Emerging Issues Task Force), which is part of FASB, effectively reversed the rule in a meeting yesterday. At this point the new rule is a draft rule, but it should receive final approval in the next few weeks. The new rule will allow Apple to recognize the iPhone hardware revenue and profit at the point of sale, while an estimated value for the software will be recognized over the life of the device.