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OPINION OCTOBER 4, 2000
Road Hog:
Separating the Hogs from the Sheep
110 million clues that Wall Street is run by scared, little lambs

by Tim Wilson
Man About Town™
[email protected]

Ah, the self-righteous bleating of the peecee sheep. We to-oo-oo-old you so, they bleat. The Mac is doo-oo-oo-oomed. Because it kneels not before the Dark Ma-aa-aa-ster.

I count on their daily whining as part of the background noise of life in the creative world, kind of like leaf-blowers in the suburbs. It gives me a headache, but I know it comes with the territory. The bleating reaches a fever pitch, though, whenever Apple's stock takes a dive.

You know, dear Hogs, as well as I do, why Apple's stock regularly winds up in the crapper: because Wall Street is composed entirely of sheep. Call it Wall Sheep. The analysts with twisted knickers? They're sheep, too. Guess what kind of computers they use on Wall Sheep? Pee-sheeps, of course. Nobody so clueless should be allowed to drive cars, much less do important work, like trying to herd sheep. No, no, shepherding is simply not a job for sheep.

Lest you think I rely too heavily on a rhetorical device to make my point, let's look at the cold hard facts. What's this week's Sign of the Apocalypse, according to the sheep? That Apple's profit will merely be $110 million on revenues of $1.85 billion. Baa-baa! Boo-hoo!

This quarter. Oops.

That's right, revenues of just under $2 billion THIS QUARTER, with $110 million of pure profit to put in the Hoggie Bank THIS QUARTER. Since Shepherd Steve returned to tend his flock in 1997, Apple has shown a profit every single quarter, no exceptions, with rising revenues every single quarter, no exceptions.

No wonder the sheep are so nervous! Something bad must be about to happen, right? Well, maybe so, since apocalyptic bleating tends to be self-fulfilling on Wall Sheep. So let's take a gander at what happened the last time that bleating sheep drove the stock way down: why, it was almost exactly a year ago, after only two years of nonstop profits. What happened after the stock tanked from all the bleating? It rose so high, it split in a matter of months.

Now, I can't blame sheep for not remembering history. That's not what sheep do.

Hogs, on the other hand, know better. Our Road Hogs didn't start kicking only half as much ass because a bunch of sheep made the stock drop. So let's not even call it a drop. Let's call it what it is: a sheep dip.

Some folks will tell you that this is a golden buying opportunity, and while I think that, in general, it's a grand idea to do the exact opposite of whatever a peecee user tells you to do, the stock market is still run by sheep. I have better things to do with my money than try to second-guess idiots, a task that's much harder than it looks because you never know what utter nonsense they'll believe next. Invest in stocks that you're certain are so trivial that even sheep can understand them. Like Microsheep.

By the way, don't even think about mentioning any of this to a sheep. It'll only make them bleat louder, and I don't know about you, but I've had a belly full of it. There comes a time when even a Hog has to say, enough already.

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