John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Apple Earnings: Good, Not Great

meh3802After a suffering a near 30 percent decline in share price over the past three months, Apple needed an old school top line beat for the holiday quarter to ease fears that its pace of growth is slowing.

But the company didn’t quite manage it. While it beat its own guidance — earnings per share of $11.75 on $52 billion in revenue — it didn’t trounce the Street.

Posting first-quarter financials after market close Wednesday, Apple reported earnings per share of $13.81 on revenue of $54 billion. The first number surpassed Wall Street estimates, the second did not. Analysts had been expecting Apple to post earnings per share of $13.47 on revenue that rose 19 percent to $54.9 billion.

Apple said its gross margins were 38.6 percent. That’s close to the 39.5 percent analysts had been looking for, but not close enough.

Apple said it sold 47.8 million iPhones for the quarter, 22.9 million iPads, 4.1 million Macs and 12.7 million iPods. Wall Street was expecting iPhone sales of 48 million units, iPad sales of 22-23 million units, Mac sales of about 5 million units and iPod sales of 12 million.

“We’re thrilled with record revenue of over $54 billion and sales of over 75 million iOS devices in a single quarter,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in the company’s earnings release. “We’re very confident in our product pipeline as we continue to focus on innovation and making the best products in the world.”

For the upcoming quarter, Apple expects revenue of $41 billion to $43 billion. Analysts had been looking for $45.6 billion. The company didn’t offer any guidance on earnings.

Apple shares, which had rallied in after-hours trading prior to the company’s earnings release, tumbled on the news. At $489.30, they’re down more than 4 percent.

So: Record iPad sales. Record iPhone sales. Record revenue of over $54 billion. Some 75 million iOS devices sold in a single quarter. And yet the Street’s still disappointed.

For the company’s side of things, check Ina Fried’s liveblog.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik