Apple (AAPL) Misses Still-Lofty Q4 Expectations, Sets Conservative Q1 Guidance

October 25, 2012 4:44 PM EDT
While analysts were busy cutting estimates into the print, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) still missed EPS expectations for its fourth quarter, while revenues beat by a small amount. Guidance for the important holiday quarter was more conservative than normal.

Apple reported revenues of $36 billion, versus $28.3 billion last year and the consensus of $35.8 billion.

Earnings were $8.67 per share, up from $7.05 last year, but below the consensus of $8.75.

The Company sold 26.9 million iPhones in the quarter, up 58 percent, and above the consensus of 25-26 million units. Apple sold 14 million iPads during the quarter, up 26 percent, but below the consensus of 17-18 million units.

The Company sold 4.9 million Macs during the quarter, a 1 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 5.3 million iPods, a 19 percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter.

Apple declared a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share.

"We're very proud to end a fantastic fiscal year with record September quarter results," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We're entering this holiday season with the best iPhone, iPad, Mac and iPod products ever, and we remain very confident in our new product pipeline."

Looking to the important holiday quarter (Q1), Apple sees revenue of about $52 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $11.75, which is well below the consensus of $55 billion and $15.41, respectively. Apple normally sandbags on guidance, but this looks a bit more conversation than normal.

After being halted ahead of the release, shares of Apple are trading down about 1.5 percent after-hours Thursday upon resumption of trade.

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