Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Apple fiscal Q3 2012 report shows underperforming iPhones, overperforming iPads

Apple sold 28 percent more iPhones in fiscal Q3 2012 (calendar year Q2 2012) than the company did a year ago, but failed to meet analyst expectations for both revenue and earnings.

Apple reported revenue for fiscal Q3 20120 of $35 billion (compared to $28.6 billion in the year-ago quarter and $39.2 billion in Q2 2012) and net profit of $8.8 billion (compared to $7.3 billion in the year-ago quarter and $11.6B in Q2 2012). That amounts to earnings of $9.32 per diluted share.

Analysts had expected to see Apple show revenues of about $37.4 billion, and earnings of about $10.38 per share.

Apple sold 26 million iPhones, up 28 percent year-over-year, from 20.3 million in fiscal Q3 2012. The consensus had been that Apple would sell 29 million iPhones.

It's unclear if the drop in iPhone sales was due to an earlier slowdown, due to consumers holding out for the iPhone 5, or an overall slowdown in smartphone sales. As smartphones are becoming the dominant cell phone sold in the U.S. and globally, there has been concern that with less need to upgrade from feature phone to smartphone, sale would decrease.

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Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, a strong Apple advocate, seemed to believe it was an earlier than ever slowdown due to an upcoming upgraded model. He said, “We’re seeing it earlier than ever,” referring to consumers holding out rather than buying a soon to be obsolete model.

While the iPhone underperformed the estimates of analysts, the iPad outperformed, with the company selling 17 million iPads during the quarter, up 84 percent year-over-year (from nine million). iPad revenue was $9.17 billion, compared with $6.05 billion in revenue a year ago.

Apple also announced a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share, but it did little to stem an after-hours sell-off. Apple stock is down more than $31.50, or 5 percent, in after-hours trading, at the time of this writing.

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