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Apple misses revenue forecast, again

Hype bubble comes crashing down

Apple posted its Q4 earnings late Wednesday and once again it managed to miss revenue forecasts, for the third quarter running.

The news did not go down well with investors and Apple shares fell 10 percent in after-hours trading, wiping out nearly $50 billion of its market value. However, the figures weren’t as bad as the market’s reaction seems to suggest.

Apple’s net profit was $13.1 billion and earnings per share were $13.81, which was actually higher than the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $13.47. Apple reported revenue of $54.5 billion, up from $46.3 billion in the same quarter a year ago. So what is going on here?

Apple managed to sell 47.8 million iPhones, up 29 percent year-on-year, but analysts had expected 50 million units. Mac sales were weak, 4.1 million units, down from 5.2 million units. As usual, iPod shipments also fell, from 15.4 to 12.7 million units year-on-year. However, iPad sales remain strong, with 22.9 million units, up from 15.4 million. It’s worth noting that a sizable chunk of these should be attributed to the iPad mini, with a lower ASP, and analysts fear that the mini is eating into 9.7-inch iPad sales.

Granted, it wasn’t an impressive quarter, but it wasn’t a disaster, warranting a massive selloff and double digit slide. It had nothing to do with Apple and the overreaction should be attributed to the media. They were on hand when Apple was soaring to $700 and were keen to promote the “$1000 Apple” myth, but as soon as their pet failed to deliver, they turned on it, viciously.

Scaremongering is the word of the day and when CNN beaks into its Davos coverage to report “weak” Apple earnings, you know something is very wrong.


Last modified on 04 March 2013
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