10/21/2011 02:59 EDT | Updated 12/21/2011 05:12 EST

Did Al Gore Contribute to Apple's $20 Billion Loss?


Apple shares fell about 5% on the opening of trading on Wednesday on news that third quarter earnings did not meet expectations. With a market capitalization of over $370 billion, a 5% loss represents almost $20 billion. Apple's fourth quarter ended Sept. 24. Despite incredible sales of 17 million iPhones during that period, representing a 21% increase over the same period a year earlier, this was less than the 20 million projected.

On Sept. 21, Al Gore was reported to have let the cat out of the bag by confirming rumours that a new iPhone would be released in October.

Did Gore's premature announcement contribute to any potential iPhone customers not making a purchase that they otherwise would have? Al Gore is an Apple board member and, as such, any public pronouncement he makes holds much more weight than rumours circulating on the Internet. Confidentiality of board proceedings is a sacred trust.

A financial quarter represents one-fourth of a year: 91 days. Gore's announcement came just three days before the quarter ended which prorates to 3% of a quarter. So, at worst, Gore contributed to 3% of the billions in equity value loss.

However, this is no small loss when dealing with such big numbers. 3% of $20 billion is $600 million. And someone who was set to sell their Apple stocks Wednesday morning lost money that they may otherwise not have lost had Al Gore not opened his big mouth.

Mr. Gore had better hope that Apple has been current on paying premiums on its Director and Officer Liability Insurance which, amongst over protections, is designed to shield against "claims against a public company for stock prices that are too low or that caused shareholders to lose money..."

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This blog originally was published at The American Thinker.