Apple Files Mixed Earnings Report, Sees Huge Holiday Season
The world's most valuable company by market capital forecast a $52 billion quarter, which would be the highest quarterly sales ever reported by a tech company.Apple's slam-bang launch of its iPad Mini tablet and some new Mac computers two days ago was tempered somewhat Oct. 25 by the company's quarterly earnings report, which came in under Wall Street projections, along with an outlook that fell shy of its own estimates. Apple, the world's most valuable company by market capital, earned $8.2 billion in profits -- $8.67 per diluted share -- during its Q4 2012 fiscal quarter that ended Sept. 29. Revenue was $36 billion. However, the net income came up short of analysts' expectations, and as a result, Apple (AAPL) shares slipped about 1 percent in after-hours trading. The stock opened at $620 Oct. 25, closed at $616, slipped under $600 for a short time in after-hours trading, and was selling for $609 at 6 p.m. Eastern time. For its fiscal first quarter, which will end Dec. 31, Apple implied that it expects a healthy holiday gift season; it projected earnings of $11.75 a share on a whopping $52 billion in revenue -- 12 percent more than the same quarter a year ago. However, those numbers don't jive at all with Wall Street's charts; analysts currently are expecting earnings of $15.43 per share and $55 billion in revenue.
A $52 billion quarter would be the highest quarterly sales ever reported by a tech company. However, Apple has a history of filing conservative guidance reports and then easily out-performing them. Thus, the analysts' projections probably aren't that unreasonable at $55 billion.