Ben Reitzes of Lehman Brothers (LEH) apologized for asking a question about Steve Job's health during Apple's 3rd quarter conference call yesterday.
Too bad someone could not ask Reitzes about the chances of him losing his job considering Lehman Brothers (LEH) shares are down 69% year-to-date. Gee, Ben, your ship is sinking so fast you can't even behave like a human being. You are probably so worried about your bonus or stock options or if your firm is about to follow Bear Stearns you can't even think straight.
Here's Ben's snarky question, in his own, like, y'know, 20-year old Valley girl vocabulary.
...um OK thanks. I'd like to ask it as respectfully as possible, um, y'know a New York newspaper today, y'know, obviously called into question, um y'know um some issues around Steve and obviously his health and, and y'know, we get a lot of questions about it, and, I'm really sorry to ask 'cause it's a very private matter, would you mind addressing the situation and, you know just making it so we can have your official statement. I apologize in advance for asking the question.
Tim Cook's answer was this:
Ben, Steve loves Apple. Steve serves as the CEO at the pleasure of the board and Steve has no plans to leave Apple, Steve's health is a private matter.
WHAT KIND OF, Y'KNOW, CRAP WAY OF ASKING ANY QUESTION IS THAT, Y'KNOW, BEN? Y'KNOW IF YOU HAVE TO APOLOGIZE IN ADVANCE, YOU KNOW, YOU FOOL, BEN. GEE, HOW'S YOUR GRANDMOTHER'S HEALTH, BEN? HEARD YOU RECENTLY HAD THE SNIFFLES, DOIN' OK NOW BEN? COULD YOU TELL US IF LEHMAN BROTHERS IS ABOUT TO, Y'KNOW, FOLD BEN?
What kind of a stinking way, even for a slimey, half-bit analyst at a rapidly sliding investment bank, is that to phrase a question??? I suspect Ben's remaining few customers at Lehman's are more concerned about how big their losses in shares other than Apple's will be in the next six quarters. Someone should check out Ben Reitzes's Facebook or MySpace friends for people shorting Apple shares yesterday.
Ask your questions straight out like a man, Ben, or else ask a relevant follow-up on actual financial performance.
On an aside, how can you and other people with some actual education under their belts honestly continue to believe the canard that Apple is some kind of one-man band like Dick Van Dyke performing in the movie Mary Poppins?
Apple is a huge corporation. Their phenomenal results are due to teamwork, insight, brilliant product design, timing, and a keen sensitivity to consumer demands. Job's works at Apple, he is the CEO, but any fool that thinks that Apple will suddenly flop when any employee leaves, including the CEO, must be clueless in all respects.
Here are the truly relevant facts from yesterday's conference call:
Apple closed yesterday at around $167/share. At 1800 Eastern Time, Apple reported a whopping 38% increase in year over year quarterly revenue. They reported the highest quarterly revenue in the company history, $7.46 billion in the past 3 months! $1.07 billion of that was pure profits! Year over year growth of nearly 40% is simply amazing, especially for a consumer product firm.
Most of this money was made from the sale of MacBooks and large Mac computers like I use for my business, not just iPhones or iPods, though those items' sales increased immensely. Remember the new iPhone release was July 11, so those numbers are not included in the quarter ended June 28th.
After Apple announced these numbers, numbers every company in the world are jealous of, some shady investors started selling Apple shares and drove the price down to $146/share. These investors are actually huge Wall St firms that are good at tricking little people into selling shares. Today the price raced back up to $162/share. Of course you know I did not sell a single Apple share during that wholesale theft by the likes of Lehman Brothers or others.
Apple just opened their newest store, in Beijing. Hmm, are there many people living in China? They also announced that iPhones are now sold in 22 countries, soon to be 30 or more countries. One of those new countries is India, coming this fall, but there are not many people living in India, huh?
Great results, Apple!
Ben, clean out your desk and go find a competent speech therapist, a little human compassion, and some morality. You desperately need all three. Pick yourselves up a copy of The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb while you are it, Ben, Shaw Wu, and all the other so-called analysts, you all need to learn about how worthless your profession has proven itself in the past.