John Paczkowski

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Apple Beats Muted Expectations

Happy_macApple investors steeling themselves for a disappointing quarter received a nice surprise, instead — a slight beat.

Posting its fiscal third-quarter financials after market close on Tuesday, Apple reported earnings per share of $7.47 on revenue of $35.3 billion. Both numbers beat Wall Street estimates. Analysts had been expecting Apple to post earnings per share of $7.34 on revenue of $35.18 billion.

Apple said it shipped 31 million iPhones for the quarter. That’s less than the 37.4 million is shipped in the quarter prior, but significantly more than the 26 million it shipped in the year-ago quarter, and well above the Street’s expectations for 26 million. But it shipped only 14.6 million iPads. That’s down from the 17 million it sold in the year prior, and well below the 18 million analysts had been predicting. Mac sales also came in a bit low; Apple shipped 3.8 million units, slightly less than the 3.9 million for which the Street had been calling.

Apple also declared a cash dividend of $3.05 a share. The dividend is payable on Aug. 15 to shareholders of record as of close of business on Aug. 12.

“We are especially proud of our record June quarter iPhone sales of over 31 million and the strong growth in revenue from iTunes, Software and Services,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in the company’s earnings release. “We are really excited about the upcoming releases of iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks, and we are laser-focused and working hard on some amazing new products that we will introduce in the fall and across 2014.”

For the upcoming quarter, Apple expects revenue of $34 billion to $37 billion. Analysts had been looking for just over $37 billion. The company didn’t offer any guidance on earnings per share, but it did project a gross margin range of 36 percent to 37 percent for the period.

Apple shares spiked more than four percent in after-hours trading following the report.

My colleague Ina Fried is liveblogging Apple’s earnings call.

AAPL_Q3_2013


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus