Apple is set to announce their fourth fiscal quarter earnings on this October 25th at 5:00 PM ET.
The big question, of course, is will this be a good quarter for Apple? We all know that last quarter, Q3, Apple missed analysts's predictions in a "disappointing" fiscal quarter, proving that company is indeed "doomed". For Q4, however, Apple will be able to include new laptops and iPhone sales that they did not include in last quarter (due to the fact that they hadn't shipped yet), as well as the iPads sold in China.
There are really two different scenarios that can play out when Apple makes their call on the 25th.
One: Apple announces a decent quarter with slowed Mac and iPod growth — as is the case in the entire technology market. They will have decent iPhone 5 sales, as well as decent iPad sales and overall, just an average quarter. In this scenario, they will probably just hit analysts's predictions. The trouble with this scenario is that since analysts are becoming more and more fantastical with their predictions for Apple, falling short even slightly, or even just hitting analysts's predictions may result in a (misplaced and ridiculous but still very real) massive temporary drop in stock price.
Two: Apple announces great Mac sales from their new MacBook lineup (that includes the Retina model), as well as steadied iPod sales. This is on top of record breaking iPhone 5 launch sales as well as continued iPad sales. This would result in them hitting analysts's predictions with quite some padding, and would also probably mean a swing upwards in stock price.
In terms of the information we have right now, both scenarios are extremely possible. It's impossible to tell which one it will actually be, though. Whatever the case ends up being, realize that they both mean good things for the company (albeit, one is indeed even better than the other). Even if scenario one plays out, Apple still has record breaking iPhone 5 launch weekend sales, and new hardware very possibly en route. How Wall Street reacts is often times illogical.
This all being said, what should you do if you are looking to buy stock (or stock options, as is more likely the case)? If you ask me, I'd say to hold off. Best case scenario here, Apple has a good quarter. But Q1 of next year can, and most likely will, be a tremendous quarter. That is how things played out in the past. With the likely "iPad Mini", as well as more iPhone 5 sales worldwide, and of course, the holiday season, before Q1 is when I'd put my money into Apple.
Wait for a fall in Apple's stock — perhaps even after the possible "Scenario One" — and buy in then.
You'll be able to listen live to Apple's earnings call on their site on the 25th at 5:00 PM ET.