The Ratings Game: Apple stock suffers worst day in more than four years after ‘Houdini-like move’ with earnings

Apple Inc. shares are falling in premarket trading Friday, after the smartphone manufacturer beat expectations with its latest results but delivered a disappointing forecast and announced that it will no longer be provide unit-sales figures for the iPhone and other hardware products.

The stock is down 6.4% premarket, and such a drop, if it were to hold through the close, would represent Apple’s worst single-day percentage fall since January 2016.

Analyst commentary following the September-quarter report was mixed, as some argued that the unpopular change will ultimately benefit Apple AAPL, +1.54% by getting investors to focus on its fast-growing services business—no doubt the company’s intention—while others predicted that the company will continue to be punished for this lack of disclosure.

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