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Friday, 26 October 2012

Apple posts record $8.2 billion in profits on millions of iOS device sales, but falls short of estimates

Stop me if you’ve heard any of this before: a tech giant failed to meet Wall Street expectations for the third quarter of the year, while bringing in huge profits nonetheless.
We all saw Google’s leaked Q3 2012 results that sent the stock into a downward spiral until trading was stopped. Microsoft’s own numbers fell short of what analysts expected. Now it’s time for Apple to take the same path with its results for Q4 FY2012 (the period ending on September 30 represents the company’s fourth fiscal quarter).
So how did Apple do? Better than Google and Microsoft combined, reporting $8.2 billion in net profits or $8.67 per share (EPS) on $36 billion of revenue. The company is on an ascending path, when looking at the year ago quarter, when it posted $6.6 billion in profits ($7.05 EPS) on $28.3 billion, but it still fell marginally short of analysts expectations: $8.81 EPS on $35.8 billion of revenue. Apple stock dropped over 1% on the news.
Overall, Apple shipped 26.9 million iPhones – a number higher compared to Q4 FY2011 and most likely boosted by strong iPhone 5 sales in the last days of its Q4 – and 14 million iPads, a number that’s seen as “well below lowered forecasts for the tablet,” despite being higher during the same period last year.
Forecast for the crucial December quarter is at $52 billion in revenue – “below the average estimate of $55 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S,” but we’ll note that Apple sits on a $121.3 billion pile of cash, and that in just three quarters it has already passed its entire 2011 performance when it comes to revenue and profits.
Why is any of this important for the Android ecosystem and the mobile market? Well a company with that much money on hand, that sells at least two mobile products that are still in hot demand with consumers and that is able to report higher earning year-over-year quarters is still a fierce rival for anyone else in the mobile business, especially Google and Microsoft, who are yet to reap similar profits from their mobile divisions.
The Christmas quarter will definitely be interesting to watch, with a variety of new mobile devices already available, or about to hit stores from all major players.
What smartphone and/or tablet are you buying this holiday season?

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