The quarterly financial results cycle is a very different prospect depending on who you are. For a company like Apple, it's a chance to see how many more billions you've added to the pile, while for the likes of Nokia right now, it's the latest painful reminder of what's gone wrong.
But it's an odd business, all the same. Take this week: Apple dutifully announces another set of positive numbers, and its share price drops. Nokia's profits plummet again, and yep... its share price has gone up.
It's all about expectations, y'see, and basically everyone's expectations of Apple right now are sky-high, while Nokia has turned into such a whipping boy in the corridors of public opinion that selling even one phone seems to come as a surprise to some.
In the end, Nokia actually shifted 106.6 million phones from July to September, which was quite a bit more than the 93.6m figure analysts were expecting. However, the real bag of hurt continues to be smartphones, with Nokia selling just 16.8 million over the three months – a huge 38% down on the same three months last year.
Total revenues were £7.9m, a drop of 13% on last year, while the overall profit/loss was £132m in the negative, a far gloomier picture than the £280m profit posted in Q3 last year.
Still, loss or no loss, the fact that Nokia sold more handsets than expected saw the company's share price jump 8%. That after Apple's share price dropped by as much as 5% in some areas despite it posting $6.1 billion in profits.
And they wonder why the stock market makes no sense to most of us.