Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Apple Comes Up Short in Q4 as Profits Miss Street Expectations

Apple just reported its quarterly earnings of $8.67 per share on sales of $35.97 billion.

The earnings were lower than the $8.75 consensus though sales beat the $35.8 billion in sales that analysts had expected. Both numbers were as usual, substantially higher than Apple’s guidance of $7.65 per share and sales of $34 billion.

Apple’s third fiscal quarter is often a quieter one, bolstered a bit by the back-to-school season where it has traditionally promoted sales of notebooks. Consumers also have lately been holding back on purchases of new iPhones iPads and Macs anticipating correctly that new products were on the way to ensure strong holiday-season sales.

Apple shares, after closing the regular session down by more than 1 percent to at $609.5 rose by $3.51 in after hours trading or less than 1 percent to $613.28 before its shares were halted.

Here’s some data points:

iPad sales were sequentially down by 17 percent to 14 million units in the quarter, clearly a sign that consumers were waiting for the announcement that Apple made last week of a new iPad and the iPad mini.

Sales of iPhones on a unit basis were about even sequentially. Apple sold 26.9 million of those in the quarter versus 26 million in the third quarter.

Mac sales were solid. Apple sold nearly 5 million in the quarter, of which nearly 4 million were notebooks. Mac sales in the Asia-Pacific region, including China amounted to $7.5 billion which is interesting for the fact that that region drew nearly even with Europe, which reported $8 billion worth of Mac sales.

Here’s another: Apple’s pile of cash continued to grow: Its combined hoard of cash, short, and long-term investments reached $121.25 billion. It paid a dividend of $2.65 a share.

Update: Trading has just resumed and Apple shares are falling. As I type they’re trading at about $598, down about $11 or more than 1 percent.

Here’s Apple’s announcement.

Apple Reports Fourth Quarter Results
26.9 Million iPhones Sold; Record Fourth Quarter Revenue and Profit
Board Declares Quarterly Dividend of $2.65 per Common Share

CUPERTINO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–
Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2012 fourth quarter ended September 29, 2012. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $36.0 billion and quarterly net profit of $8.2 billion, or $8.67 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $28.3 billion and net profit of $6.6 billion, or $7.05 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 40.0 percent compared to 40.3 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 60 percent of the quarter’s revenue.
The Company sold 26.9 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 58 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 14.0 million iPads during the quarter, a 26 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. The Company sold 4.9 million Macs during the quarter, a 1 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 5.3 million iPods, a 19 percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter.
Apple’s Board of Directors has declared a cash dividend of $2.65 per share of the Company’s common stock. The dividend is payable on November 15, 2012, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on November 12, 2012.
“We’re very proud to end a fantastic fiscal year with record September quarter results,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re entering this holiday season with the best iPhone, iPad, Mac and iPod products ever, and we remain very confident in our new product pipeline.”
“We’re pleased to have generated over $41 billion in net income and over $50 billion in operating cash flow in fiscal 2012,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2013, we expect revenue of about $52 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $11.75.”


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