The world is holding its breath in anticipation of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) earnings figures. Those number are due to be released tomorrow but analysts are weighing in with the final estimates for the firm’s summer quarter.
Apple’s earnings report may be the most important of the entire season. The firm’s numbers will, one way or another, influence the entire tech sector and with it the entire market. That burden of responsibility has been well placed in recent quarters as the company consistently beat expectations.
In the report released this time last year, however, the company failed to deliver, and earnings came in below the estimates given by Wall Street. That discrepancy is now perceived to have been an aberration as analysts failed to factor in the delayed purchases of customers waiting for a newer iPhone model.
That demand was expressed in the blowout quarters Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has reported since then. The question on investors minds is whether or not analysts have correctly anticipated the drop in the company’s demand for this quarter, as we head toward yet another iPhone release.
This time around Apple is expected to earn $10.38 a share on $37.35 billion in revenues. The firm is expected to have shipped around 29 million iPhones in the three quarters along with shipments of around 19 million iPads. The tablet computer is quickly catching up to the smart phone as the company’s top earner.
Apple’s own guidance for the quarter suggests that the firm will, given the Street’s estimates, certainly rise above those figures, and probably by a considerable amount. Apple is known for allowing breathing room in its earnings reports by giving conservative guidance figures.
In this quarter it is, for the first time, the iPad rather than the iPhone that Apple investors will be looking to for growth. The iPhone is not dead by any means but it has become a much more seasonal product than it was before predictable releases of new models.
The iPad is still growing at a rapid pace, this is the first full quarter of sales of the tablet’s new model and analysts will be using its sales figures to assess the success of the new design. The iPad is now vying for position as Apple’s flagship product. That simple fact is not passing by anyone.
Apple’s earnings now dominate the the landscape each earnings season. It is difficult to imagine exactly what the company can do to really impress investors. The firm’s stock has been unpredictable in recent months, since fears arose just before last quarter’s earnings. The company faces challenges if its goal is to warm itself to investor as it did earlier this year. That thought should be far from the firm’s plans however.
Apple is a fundamentally strong company that has grown at a lightning pace in the five years since the launch of the original iPhone. Their influence in the tech industry makes their earnings the one to follow in the sector, if only one is to be followed.
It is hard to imagine, however, that Tim Cook is worried about the reaction of investors as he eyes the earnings report he will release tomorrow.