Apple has been the subject of plenty of financial scrutiny (perhaps even more so than usual) recently, and now all that speculation has come to a head.
The Cupertino company has just released its fiscal Q2 2013 earnings — it reported $43.6 billion in revenue (up from $39.2 billion in the year-ago quarter) along with $9.5 billion in quarterly net profit, which works out to earnings of $10.09 per share.
That means that the rumblings were true — Apple posted EPS of $12.30 back in Q2 2012, which makes this the company’s first year-over-year quarterly earnings decline in nearly a decade. Naturally, the bigger question is whether or not this ignominious milestone will mean anything for Apple going forward and there’s no clear answer to that just yet. Financially speaking, it was bound to happen sooner or later, but Apple’s recently cultivated image as a computing juggernaut could take a very prominent hit. Apple has $145 billion in cash in its coffers, so we can all lay off the doomsday scenarios, but CEO Tim Cook admits that the company’s growth has slowed. Cook also noted during Apple’s customary earnings call that the company would kick off an effort to buy back Apple shares to raise the value of its stock.
These past few days have been surprisingly turbulent ones for Apple (the company’s share price tumbled below the $400 mark just last week to a new 16-month low), so it’s no surprise to see that analysts weren’t quite as bullish on Apple as they usually tend to be. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the analyst consensus was for Apple to announce earnings of $10.02 per share on $42.4 billion in revenue, which the company managed to beat. On the other hand, Apple’s own (once notoriously conservative) guidance from its last earnings release forecasted revenues between $41 and $43 billion. And Apple’s guidance for next quarter? The company expects to pull in between $33.5 billion and $35.5 billion in revenue and gross margin between 36 percent and 37 percent.
“We are pleased to report record March quarter revenue thanks to continued strong performance of iPhone and iPad,” Apple CEO Tim Cook noted in the release. “Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software and services, and we are very excited about the products in our pipeline.”
Despite the fact that Apple didn’t release or unveil any new hardware in Q2 (as some eagerly suggested it would), device sales were still nothing to sneeze at. As always, we’ve got more detailed breakdowns of how Apple did in terms of hardware this quarter courtesy of Jordan and Darrell, but here’s how the company did in a nutshell: Apple sold 37.4 million iPhones during Q2, along with 19.5 million iPads, but there’s no longer any word on iPods. Mac sales came up short as well, as Apple sold 4 million of them back in Q2 2012 compared to “under 4 million” this time around.
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Not too shabby considering that iDevice sales are up across the board compared to the year-ago quarter (and in the iPad’s case, dramatically so likely thanks to the iPad mini), but the lack of any new standout products has weighed heavily on some people’s minds over the days and weeks that have led up to today’s release. Apple hasn’t pulled back the curtain on a new product since the iPad mini was unveiled back in October 2012. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that — the company likes to stick to its timetables after all — but the release of impressive new smartphones from Samsung and HTC could mean that Apple could be facing even stiffer competition as it works to dominate the mobile market. That could all change very shortly too, as rumblings of a new iPhone to be unveiled sometime this summer (along with a possibly cheaper model to follow) continue to circulate.
While Wall Street may have had concerns about Apple prior to the release, Apple’s stock price is up roughly 4 percent in after-hours trading.