Shares are up about 5.2% in after-market trading. But there’s something for bulls and bears alike in the quarterly announcement — which Wall Street is closely watching following the 42% decline in Apple’s stock price since September. The company generated net income of $9.5B in the quarter, -17.9% from the period last year, on revenues of $43.6B, +11.3%. The revenue figure beat analysts’ projections for $42.6B. Earnings per share at $10.09 also are slightly ahead of the consensus forecast of $10.07. Still, this was the first time in a decade that Apple’s year-over-year earnings have fallen. And the company’s guidance for the current quarter fell short of expectations: The company says revenues could end up as high as $35.5B, below forecasts of around $38.6B. It also projects a gross profit margin of as much as 37%, shy of projections for 38.6%. CEO Tim Cook lauded the “continued strong performance of iPhone and iPad.” Apple sold 37.4M iPhones in the March quarter (+6.6%), and 19.5M iPads (+65.3%). But Mac sales declined 1.6% to “just under” 4M, and iPods dropped 26.6% to 5.6M. Cook adds that the company is “hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software and services, and we are very excited about the products in our pipeline.” We’ll see if he offers more details shortly when he takes questions from Wall Street analysts.
That’s the question of the day for Apple followers as the company’s fans on Wall Street lick their wounds from last night’s disappointing earnings report. The stock fell 12.4% today to $450.50. That’s the company’s worst one-day performance in about four years, and puts Apple shares right where they were about year ago. The company’s market value of $423B is still impressive, but a far cry from late September around the time it released the iPhone 5. Back then, investors thought it was worth more than $659B. To put this into perspective, the drop in the perceived value of Apple over the last four months amounts to more than the value of Comcast, Disney, and Viacom combined.
Apple-mania will fade at some point. But not yet. The company’s stock was up 2.7% today to close at $601.10 — its highest closing price ever, and up 81.8% over the last 12 months. Much of today’s bump …
Investors will be listening intently today when Apple CEO Tim Cook addresses the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. The tech giant’s stock is on a tear — it closed Monday at $502.60, a record high and up 24.1% so far in 2012. And Wall Street is trying to figure out: Is this run up just beginning, or is it time to sell? Cook could provide some clues in the way he handles questions about investors’ extravagant expectations for Apple’s efforts to introduce new or refreshed products this year. It’s widely believed that early next month it will unveil the iPad 3, with a sharper screen and the ability to tap Verizon and AT&T’s 4G wireless networks. Now it seems Apple also is testing a tablet with a smaller, 8-inch screen to take on rivals such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which has a 7-inch screen, The Wall Street Journal reports today. Meanwhile bulls say that the iPhone will continue to be a big story this year with sales just beginning in China — and the widely expected release in the U.S. of a 4G-capable iPhone 5. Apple also is benefitting