Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is scheduled to report its financial performance for the first quarter of 2013. Majority of Wall Street analysts expect the company to report a profit decline for the first time in a decade. However, they noted that sales of its iPad devices surged, so will the company still beat the consensus estimate of Wall Street?
The bullish sentiment of analysts for the iPhone and iPad maker turned bearish when the stock price of the company plummeted from its peak price at around $705 per share. Many investors are concerned that the company may not be able to produce innovative products in the future. The stock value of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is currently trading around $400 per share. The stock went down to as low as $385 a share over the past 52-week range.
Early this month, Jim Cramer of CNBC even likened Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) amid growing pessimism. According to him, “Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is becoming the JC Penney of tech,” and projected that the next generation iPhone might fail and will be recorded in history as an epic disappointment.
Based on data compiled by Thomson Reuters, the consensus earnings estimate for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) for the first quarter is $10.07 per share and $42.49 billion revenue. On the other hand, the average expectations of the more than 40 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg is $13.81 earnings per share, and its revenue will be around $54.5 billion. During the same period in 2012, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) posted $13.87 earnings per share and its revenue was $46.3 billion revenue.
Take note that the current $54.5 billion revenue estimate for the company is 17.7 percent higher than its $46.3 billion revenue during the first quarter result in 2012. Analysts expect the company to report record sales for its iPad devices. Based on the consensus estimate, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) sold around 18 million to 19 million iPad devices during the quarter, which is significantly higher than the 11.8 million units it sold a year ago. On the other hand, analysts are less optimistic with the sales of iPhone devices. They estimated that Apple sold approximately 34 million iPhones, lower than the 35.1 million iPhones it sold last year.
Last January, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) changed its guidance strategy to reflect a conservative point of its expected quarterly results that it would likely to achieve. For the first quarter, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said that the company expects to achieve $41 billion to $43 billion revenue.
Analysts at Jefferies Equity Research forecasted last week that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will post $41 billion revenue and $9.52 earnings per share, lower than the consensus estimate of Wall Street analysts. Jefferies analyst Peter Misek and his colleagues projected an even lower estimate for the company in the second quarter with $7.22 earnings per share and $35 billion revenue.