Apple’s Much-Anticipated Earnings Report Disappoints, Stock Slides
Apple’s shares took a nosedive after its much-anticipated earnings report was released just after the Wednesday closing bell. Down more than 11 percent in less than 24 hours, investors who had hoped the stock would rebound from its 17-percent drop in the past three months saw their hopes dashed when Apple missed nearly all expectations, and even key iPhone metrics failed to hit the mark.
Apple’s most popular device—the iPhone—sold 47.8 million compared to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster’s expectation of 50 million units. Still, the number was still impressive, selling 1.8 million more units than the same period one year ago.
“No technology company has ever reported these kinds of results,” Apple CEO Tim Coook said on the earnings call on Wednesday.
The company posted record quarterly revenue of $54.5 billion, as well as record quarterly net profit of $13.1 billion, but even those numbers missed the mark as analysts had forecast $54.58 billion in total revenue. The results still substantially exceeded the revenue compared to the same period in 2012 when Apple posted revenue of just $46.3 billion. Gross margin, however, was 38.6 percent compared to 44.7 percent on year ago.
The iPad also sold well with 22.8 million units sold during the quarter, but 23 million units were expected. Operating margin disappointed as well, with 31.6 compared to 37.4 one year ago.
“We’re thrilled with record revenue of over $54 billion and sales of over 75 million iOS devices in a single quarter,” said Cook in a company statement. “We’re very confident in our product pipeline as we continue to focus on innovation and making the best products in the world.”
Sales of iPods and Macs were both down compared to a year ago, with 12.7 million and 4.1 million units sold, respectively.
On the earnings call, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer stated the Mac sales slide was attributable to the late release of new Mac products, which weren’t release until December.
“We believe our Mac sales would have been much higher without those constraints,” Oppenheimer said on the call.
On a more positive note, Apple forecast second quarter revenues to range between $41 billion and $43 billion.
Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster retains his confidence in the company, as well. Following Apple’s report, he reiterated his $875 price target for Cupertino.
“While iPhone numbers were mildly disappointing, our initial look at Apple’s December quarter results does not sway our long term confidence in the iOS ecosystem,” Munster said. “The December iPhone number, which we believe is the most important number for the company, came in at 47.8 million compared to the 50 million buy side bogey we talked about in our previous note. For March, the company guided to $41-43 billion in revenue compared to our expectation for a $41 billion guide. Net-net, while we believe the iPhone number may appear disappointing, the slightly better guide implies that investors may not need to continue to worry about noise regarding continued iPhone build decreases for March.”
[Image via Lydia Fizz/Flickr]
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