Maclean Gave No Apple Specific Facts, But Here Is Definition of "Normalized Earnings"...
1. Earnings for a company not including nonrecurring charges and gains. A one-time charge or gain that deeply affects a company's profits or losses for a given period of time might make it appear more or less healthy than it really is; normalized earnings are an indication of a company's true financial health.
2. Earnings that account for seasonal or economic cycles. See also: Seasonally-adjusted.
Past or forecasted earnings that have been adjusted for cyclical variations. Earnings are generally normalized by using a moving average of earnings per share over a number of successive periods.
Base speculations aired without aggressive questioning: thy name is CNBC/ MELISSA LEE/FAST MONEY/OPENING BELL, etc...
But if you normalize the earnings to say 50 % less then you would realize that Apples earnings weren't what they are telling us. In fact they would be approximately 40 or 50 percent less thereabouts. From there you would then see that the P/E is actually higher than what you previously thought. Simple concept that people are to stubbornly long Apple to see. Also if you normalize the earnings further to negative earnings, then you would start to see the cash burn. Once they start burning the cash, the arguments about the large cash balance would go away and now you would realize that 200 dollars per share is the more correct value of Apple.
And if my grandma had testicles she'd be my grandfather. Figures lie and liars figure. Twist the numbers to try to prove your point. I will trust Apple and their auditors to be reporting GAAP results rather then the upside down conjecture of starting out with predefined end result and twisting facts to fit your desired result.