A Hint That Steve Jobs' Departure Date Has Been Planned for a While

| About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Steve Jobs released a letter to the public that he would be taking a leave of absence from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) for an undisclosed period of time. About a month ago, when Apple released the date when it planned to report its fiscal Q1 earnings results, I found the date extremely peculiar. Here's why:

Since 2007, Apple has always chosen to report earnings during the last week of the month in order to avoid the manipulation that usually comes with options expiration week. If you go back at least 14-16 quarters, Apple has reported during the last week of the month in every one of those reporting periods. I remember that it started doing this in response to reports of complaints of share manipulation during OPX.

But now that we have the Steve Jobs news, the reporting date makes a whole lot of sense. Moreover, the fact that Apple chose to release its earnings right after a 3-day weekend in order to give investors time to soak in the news of Jobs' indefinite departure lends support to the idea that Steve Jobs has been planing to take a leave for a very long time. At a minimum, plans must have been drawn at least since mid-December and maybe even earlier.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, but may initiate a long position in AAPL over the next 72 hours.