Apple needs more big products, less big talk

Apple’s (AAPL) annual developer conference opens on Monday and, amid a barrage of new product leaks, the company is raising expectations even higher. "Later this year, we've got the best product pipeline that I've seen in my 25 years at Apple," senior vice president Eddy Cue crowed at the Code Conference on Wednesday. And CEO Tim Cook was touting “products you haven’t thought of yet” in interviews after Apple officially announced its $3 billion Beats Electronics deal.

As I discussed in the above video with Breakout host Jeff Macke, it may be tough for Apple to meet such lofty expectations. The biggest announcements are expected during the keynote speeches at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC, in San Francisco on June 2.

Cue was at Apple for the iPod, the iTunes music store, the iPhone and the iPad. Rumored future products including a wearable fitness tracker or a home automation platform seemingly pale in comparison. Long time Apple reporter Mark Gurman had the scoop on the fitness play while Tim Bradshaw at the Financial Times broke the story of the home automation effort.

Then again, Apple was rumored to be working on a phone for a year before Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone and the device blew away expectations. Despite Jobs death, Apple remains well stocked with design and engineering talent starting with top designer Jony Ive.

But the executive crowing still comes across as excessive and probably not necessary. As the old adage for writers goes: show don’t tell. And though Apple executives spent almost two years fruitlessly trying to get investors excited about its stock again, they finally seem to have succeeded. As noted on Thursday, Apple shares have jumped 20% since late April, adding $100 billion to the company y’s market value.

The stock took off not because of executive chatter but based on better results. In late April, Apple reported much better than expected iPhone sales for the first quarter. The sales number of almost 44 million was both 6 million more than a year earlier and 6 million more than Wall Street expected.

Most analysts were forecasting a blasé quarter, since the company hadn’t introduced any new products, setting the stock up for a strong gain when results exceeded expectations.

Now the stock’s rally could be strong enough to break its previous all-time high of $705. 07 hit in September 2012. It may not actually exceed the $700 level, though, because Apple is splitting its shares seven-for-one for holders of record at the market close on June 2. Trading for the post-split shares starts June 9, when the old record could be surpassed if the shares hit $101.

An amazing line up of new products, not new braggadocio, is the best route to hit that price.

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