Hold Your AAPLause …

Published on October 20, 2008
by John Paczkowski

“We’re thrilled to report our best quarter ever.” Apple CEO Steve Jobs has uttered those words or a variation on them after most of the company’s earnings reports in recent memory. Will he speak them once again Tuesday, when Apple (AAPL) offers the outside world a peak at its financials? Or has the worsening economic crisis and the continued deterioration of consumer confidence stricken them from “Quarterly Earnings Statement” template in Apple PR for the time being?

Certainly the decline in Apple’s share price, which has been halved since the beginning of the year, would seem to point to the latter. But other metrics suggest the company will still turn in a strong performance, even amid the current macroeconomic travesty. According to the latest PC vendor shipment numbers from Gartner (IT), Apple showed nearly 30 percent year-over-year growth in the third quarter, its market share rising to 9.5 percent from 7.7 percent. In the United States Apple’s share of the laptop market grew by 60 percent, year over year, rising from 6.6 percent to 10.6 percent in the second quarter of this year. Meanwhile, its share of the operating system market rose nearly four-tenths of a percentage point in September. Given those metrics and the fact that the quarter that ended Sept. 30 is the first in which the impact of the iPhone 3G will register on Apple’s income statement, it seems reasonable to expect a strong showing from the company come Tuesday. “The upshot is that even against a very bleak macroeconomic backdrop,” said Yair Reiner, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Company, “Apple should be able to continue growing.”

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