Chicken Little as a Stock Broker

In case you’ve never heard the story of Chicken Little (aka Henny Penny), I will quote the start of the entry in Wikipedia.

Henny Penny, also known as Chicken Licken or Chicken Little, is a fable in the form of a cumulative tale about a chicken who believes the world is coming to an end. The phrase The sky is falling! features prominently in the story, and has passed into the English language as a common idiom indicating a hysterical or mistaken belief that disaster is imminent.

It all started when an acorn fell on Chicken Little’s head, and thus the common phrase that she started, “The sky is falling!”

Next, I’d like to share with you the first couple of lines from Apple’s quarterly results press release.

October 18, 2011—Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2011 fourth quarter ended September 24, 2011. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $28.27 billion and quarterly net profit of $6.62 billion, or $7.05 per diluted share.

Can you truly grasp those numbers? $28B in revenue. Billion! And about 23% of that was net profit. To me that is a decent amount of money that came back in the form of profit.

How about this comment. How many companies can say this during the tough times we live in.

Revenue rose 39 per cent to $28.27 billion


But then along came the Chicken Little’s of the world.

You see, Apple had predicted they would have revenues of $29.69B. They fell short by 4.8% and so the market responded by knocking the stock price down by “7 per cent in extended trading on Tuesday, wiping some $27 billion off the value of the world’s largest technology company.”

Obviously, the sky is falling at Apple and we are all doomed. Someone go tell the king, and along the way tell everyone you know. Convince them the world as we know it is ending.

Back to the original story. What happened to Chicken Little? Depends on the version of the story you read. In some, all the animals get eaten by a fox. I am not going to comment on who the fox may be in real life. Let’s end with a commentary on what the moral of the story is.

The moral to be drawn changes, depending on the version. Where there is a ‘happy ending’, the moral is not to be a ‘Chicken’ but to have courage. In other versions the fable is interpreted as a warning not to believe everything you are told.

Watch out for the fox!