Apple Beats On Revs, Earnings Flat

Despite record gains, sales of Apple’s signature devices during the holiday quarter fell just below analysts’ estimates, as did the tech giant’s revenue for the period.

Apple on Wednesday reported selling nearly 48 million iPhones in its fiscal first quarter, up 29% from 37 million a year ago. Sales of iPads increased to 23 million units, a 49% gain from 15 million in the year-earlier period. But analysts had forecast sales of about 46 to 50 million iPhone and 23 to 24 million iPads.

Sales of the iPad Mini, launched in October, were not broken out, but Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer called the 7-inch tablet a "tremendous hit" during the company's conference call. Shipments of the Macintosh computer fell to 4.1 million units from 5.2 million units.

Apple posted revenue of $54.5 million, up from $46.3 billion a year ago. It had a net profit of $13.1 billion, or $13.81 per diluted share -- roughly flat with earnings per share of $13.87 a year ago.



Analysts, on average, had expected Apple to post earnings of $13.4 on revenue of $54.7 billion. Apple’s second-quarter forecast for sales of $41 to $43 billion fell below analysts’ estimate of $45.6 billion.

Apple shares have fallen almost 30% since September because of concerns about flagging demand for the iPhone, with reports emerging earlier this month the company had cut iPhone orders for the current quarter.

While the iPhone 5 helped boost sales in the year-end quarter, Verizon reported this week than less than half the 6.2 million iPhones sold in the quarter were iPhone 5 devices. That means most people opted for cheaper iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S.

Apple shares were down about 6% to $482 in after-hours trading following the company's earnings release.

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