/// Apple Earnings: A Basic Beat or a Blowout?

July 24, 2012  |  All Things Digital

Wall Street expectations for Apple earnings are seldom high enough, but for the company’s third-quarter results, which it posts after market close today, they seem particularly tame. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters anticipate Apple’s third-quarter earnings will be $10.36 a share on revenue of $37.2 billion. That’s more than the $8.68 a share on revenue of $34 billion Apple forecast when it reported second-quarter earnings in April, but it’s still a bit low. The reason? Well, there are a few, but the most oft-cited by analysts is this: iPhone sales are slackening ahead of an expected fall refresh of the device. Said Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu, “Talking to investors, there appears to be understanding that the next two quarters will be ‘choppy’ ahead of the next generation iPhone.” The latest batch of estimates for iPhone sales falls in the 25-29 million range. That’s better than the 20.34 million Apple sold during the same quarter last year, but down significantly from the 35.1 million it sold in the March quarter. Estimates on iPad sales range from 16 million units up to 20 million , which is double the number Apple sold in the same quarter a year ago. But these are pro estimates. Independent analysts seem to be considerably more bullish about the quarter. On average they are expecting earnings of $12.31 on sales of $41.50 billion . And they don’t see quite as big a slowdown in iPhone sales. Andy Zaky of Bullish Cross Asset Management , one of the most accurate independent Apple analysts around, told AllThingsD he expects Apple to ship 32 million iPhones and 20 million iPads on the quarter. And his view of the quarter overall is nowhere near as muted as that of the pros on Wall Street

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Apple Earnings: A Basic Beat or a Blowout?

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