passed and Apple has yet again blown
away analyst earnings predictions. You'd think that the
tired Wall Street gurus would have learned by now.Leading the
way was an incredible 14.1 million iPhones shipped. Analysts
predicted that Apple, beleaguered by fierce
competition from Google's Android army and fallout from
4's faulty antenna, would only ship 11 million iPhones during the
quarter. As usual, Apple's customers unquestioning
loyalty and willingness to overlook the company's quality
slip-ups proved a valuable asset.Macs sales also looked
promising, with 3.89 million units shipped, versus an analyst
prediction of 3.7 million units. The strong iPhone and Mac
sales propelled quarterly revenue soaring to $20.34B USD (versus a
consensus estimate of $18.9B USD). Similarly, profits were up
to $4.31B USD, handsomely surpassing estimates.Apple's
earnings did showcase some troublesome signs, though.
Particularly worrisome for Apple, its brand-new iPad. I twas forecast
to move 4.7 million units, but only moved 4.19 million units, a sign
of slowing sales. And sales of iPods came in a 9.05 million
units, falling short of the predicted 10 million units.Its
prediction of $4.80 (USD) earnings per share for its quarter in
December also fell short of the bullish analyst consensus of
$5.04.These results led to an unusual trading pattern in
Apple's stock after hours. Despite reporting what seems a
blowout quarter, these telltale signs of weakness sent Apple stock
approximately $21/share, approximately a 6.6 percent drop. This
drop returned the stock to beneath $300, a mark that the stock just
passed for the first time early this month.
such is the fate of an unusual company like Apple whose customers are
fiercely loyal, whose actions are over scrutinized, and who continues
to deliver plenty of surprises come earnings day.
quote: "In its previous iPad forecasts, iSuppli noted that the only constraint on shipment growth now is production - and not demand," said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitor research for iSuppli. "The only factor limiting production is the availability of key iPad components, such as the Field Fringe Switching (FFS) LCD panels, projected capacitive touch screens and NAND flash. Despite ongoing yield issues, Apple's suppliers have steadily increased monthly production to meet Apple's demand. Production rates are now on target to meet the expected strong fourth-quarter sales."