Are analysts stupid or lazy ? I think they are stupid paid bashers.
FORTUNE -- One of the mysteries that lingers from Apple's (AAPL) most recent quarterly report -- when the company failed to meet Wall Street's expectations and its stock suffered its worst one-day loss in four years -- was whether the analysts who set those expectations were aware that the quarter was one week shorter than the same quarter a year earlier.
As my regular readers know, Apple, like many retail firms affected by weekend sales, defines its fiscal quarters not as three months, but as 13-week periods. To compensate for the resulting shortfall of one or two days a year, the company adds an extra week every fifth or sixth year (depending on the number of leap years in between) -- giving it 7.7% more selling days in the long quarters and 7.1% fewer in the short