Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) released its earnings report for the third quarter of 2012 this afternoon after the market close. The report put Apple’s earnings for the quarter at $9.32 per share on revenue of $35 billion. The numbers fall below what analysts had predicted at the company, and will surely shake investors.
In the run up to the report analysts were estimating relatively lower numbers at the company than is usually the case. A Thompson Reuters poll of analysts revealed that the consensus earnings estimate was $10.36 per share, while revenue was expected to be $37.2 billion.
The reduction in expectations was mainly attributed to the settling in of upgrade cycles of the firm’s flagship product. Consumers, aware of the approximate date of the iPhone 5 release, were expected to hold back on purchasing the product in this quarter. The next model of Apple’s smart phone is expected to appear late next Autumn, or early next Winter.
In the same quarter last year the company earned $7.79 per share, on revenues of $28.57 billion. In 2010 the company earned just $3.51 per share on revenue of just $15.7 billion. The continued rise in the company’s fortunes is being fueled by iPhone growth overseas, and the increasing prevalence of the firm’s iPad.
In the three months from April to June Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shipped 26 million iPhones and 17 million iPads. Leading up to the report it was expected that the company had shipped around 29 million iPhones and 19 million iPads.
The narrative surrounding the lower iPhone sales is one worth reexamining, though it will not be confirmed or denied until reports come through of that product’s sales. There are questions to be asked of whether the lower numbers signify an increased bite from competition.
Samsung’s new flagship smart phone the Galaxy S III has received rave review and huge sale s figures. If iPhone owners are opting to upgrade into the Android ecosystem in any significant numbers it could spell trouble for Apple.
The market’s reaction to Apple’s newest earnings figures will be an interesting one. In recent months the company’s shares have languished below, or just above the $600 mark. High expectations may be to blame, but there is certainly something worrying investors and putting a ceiling on those numbers.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is often expected to release earnings that mystify analysts and put new faith in the company’s prowess. Today’s report, though solid, was not one of those. Today’s earnings confirm the company’s dominance but do little to shake up the current status quo.
In September, when a new iPhone model might be available, the next earnings report will be released. Traders will hope to see some kind of dramatic change in the sales figures, without it the share price may continue to languish. Shares finished down % today, and were dropping heavily in post market trading after the announcement.