Apple Inc. (AAPL) Earnings: Crushes Forecasts, Shares Halted

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) made public its earnings report for the first quarter of 2013 on Tuesday, April 23, after the market closed. The company revealed earnings per share of $10.09 on revenue of $43.6 billion for the three months. On today’s market Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s stock trended up, closing the day at a price of $406 per share.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) Earnings: Crushes Forecasts, Shares Halted

Analysts estimating the company’s earnings in anticipation of the release were looking for consensus earnings of $10.02 per share, on revenue of $42.4 billion. In the first three months of last year, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) earned $12.30 per share on revenue of $39.2 billion.

The big story surrounding Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) so far in 2013 has been the massive losses in its share price since it hit a high of over $700 per share last September. The company’s shares lost more than 20 percent of their value so far in 2013, and almost 30 percent in the last twelve months.

One of the biggest factors impacting the company’s share price appeared to have been the change in the way the company calculated its guidance figures. In the first quarter of 2013, the company began using more realistic guidance figures, startling the market, and making it appear the company had left its massive growth period.

The firm’s gross margin, which came in in today’s report at 37.5 percent, has been another source for dissent among analysts studying the company. Though the firm’s margins still remain fantastically high, they have trended down on the sales of lower margin products like the iPad Mini. Rising wages in China have also contributed to a compression in the firm’s margin over time.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), as many prominent investors frustrated with the firm’s performance have been at pains to point out, has an incredibly low valuation compared to other companies in its industry. The firm’s shares trade at just nine times 2012 earnings, while Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) trades at twenty four times earnings and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) trades at fifteen times  earnings.

The Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) earnings report is one of the most widely anticipated earnings report of the season and the company’s early report this time around will weigh heavily on the anticipation, and the reception, of other tech stocks throughout the next month.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) investors will breathe a sigh after market reaction to this report, but the firm’s share price has been divorced from the company’s results for so long, there’s no telling when it will return to normality.

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