So, I follow Apple a bit too closely. I missed out on buying a lot of stock in 1995 when they were at $13.50 per share. Instead, I bought a Macintosh clone computer with the money. That was a great choice, yes?
For years, since each quarterly demise of Apple, I watch the analysts predict the outcome--incorrectly. Apple's CFO has the numbers for guidance in the next quarter and they ignore it totally and provide something unrealistic instead.
What happens? Apple falls short (of unrealistic estimates but close to their own guidance).
I can only imagine why the "anal"ysts continue to choose their own path when it should be obvious, even to them, that they're consistently wrong. Does it help them sell stock afterwards when the price drops? Are they creating the price drop and buying stock?
Wall Street, like so much else, needs oversight. I don't want big government, but without it, the gray areas overwhelm people and business and hurt us all. Remember how stock brokerages were still pitching Enron shares when they were deep into their crisis? If they're so smart, why wouldn't they know that the company was about to collapse?
Of course, the SEC should have been watching a lot of things and didn't. After we read about Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme, why wasn't the agency cleansed? Federal "workers" who do no work shouldn't be on the payroll, should they?
However, Wall Street is a huge gray area, and these people watching the stock market will continue to take care of themselves, regardless of their customers. That would seem to be their only agenda, so I still have to wonder why they can't estimate quarterly numbers realistically. Perhaps, they're working under the influence.