Apple’s Q4 Earnings Fall Short

To call revenues of £18 billion for a single three-month

period “disappointing” is a little disingenuous but considering it Apple we’re

talking about, analysts can just about get away with it.

In the last few earnings calls, Apple has consistently

outperformed analysts’ expectations and so it seems as if Wall Street has

cottoned on and boosted expectations for the Q4 results just announced by

Apple.

The company sold just over 17 million iPhones during the three months

to the end of September, 3m short of the 20m figure expected. The

reason for this can be put down to boosted analyst expectations and customers holding out for the launch of the

latest iPhone, which went on sale last week.

Apple Earnings Call

These sales will be included in the next quarter’s results

and if initial reports are anything to go by, Apple could be back to smashing

expectations again in three months time.

However, it was not all doom and gloom for the

Cupertino-based company, with the company selling 11m iPads in the

period, slightly ahead of expectations. It also sold 4.89m Macs in the three

months, a 26 per cent unit increase over the same period last year.

“We are thrilled with the very strong finish of an

outstanding fiscal 2011, growing annual revenue to $108 billion and growing

earnings to $26 billion,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Customer response to

iPhone 4S has been fantastic, we have strong momentum going into the holiday

season, and we remain really enthusiastic about our product pipeline.” Cook

made reference to the recent death of Steve Jobs saying the co-founder will

“forever be the foundation of Apple.”

Apple iPhone 4S

The company posted quarterly revenue of $28.27bn and

quarterly net profit of $6.62bn, or $7.05 per diluted share. These results

compare favourably with the same period last year when it reported revenue of $20.34bn and

net quarterly profit of $4.31bn, or $4.64 per diluted share. This is a huge 53

per cent rise in quarterly profits.

However, what was probably the most interesting aspect of

the latest earnings call from Apple was its predictions of revenue for next quarter.

According to the company it will have a $37bn quarter with

an earnings per share of $9.30, with the calculations based on the boost in iPhone

sales expected from the iPhone 4S and the upcoming Christmas period. Considering Apple always underestimates its earnings, we could be looking at a $40bn quarter.

Source: Apple

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