Apple Inc. (AAPL) Beats Q4 Earnings Estimates: Why Is Stock Down?

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) released its earnings report for the three months through September this afternoon. The company showed earnings ahead of analyst expectations for the three month period, and the rest of its figures appeared to be in line. Stock dropped by more than 2% in after market trading, however, indicating that something is wrong in the market’s estimation.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) Beats Q4 Earnings Estimates: Why Is Stock Down?

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) showed earnings of $8.26 per share, while consensus estimates from analysts came in at $7.92. The company’s revenue was $37.5, ahead of the $36.8 billion that analysts were expecting from the company. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) recorded 33.8 million iPhone shipments, ahead of analyst expectations of 32 million. iPad shipments came in a little bit below expectations: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) showed 14.1 million iPad shipments against expectations of 15 million.

Apple margin problems

One of the most important numbers in any Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) earnings report is the company’s gross margin. This time around the number came in in-line with expectations at 37%. The problem for investors appears to be Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) guidance on earnings for first quarter of 2014.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) said that it expected its gross margins to come in at 36.5% to 37.5% in the current quarter. That falls below the 37.9% that analysts are expecting from the company. The lower than expected margins indicate a few things about the company’s new line of products. The first is that the unexpectedly low sales of the iPhone 5c is cutting the number, but there may be more problems ahead.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) released two new iPad models last week, the iPad Air and the iPad Mini with Retina display. Nobody is quite sure what the margins on the tablets will be just yet, but today’s guidance indicates it could be a little lower than analysts were previously expecting. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be sacrificing some of its margins in order to increase the quality of its products.

Apple earnings ahead

Today’s guidance was not disastrous for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and if the company had released a cheap iPhone, as analysts seemed to be looking for, margins would have been sucked down even more. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s sales of its products were fantastic for this quarter. It looks like the firm’s gross margin may be entering into a decline, however.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) did well this afternoon, and the 2% loss in the value of the stock is not all that significant. The company’s stock has risen by close to 10% in the last month of trading. Investors will be watching Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s margin going ahead, but today’s guidance wasn’t an apocalypse by any metric.

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Paul Shea
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