Ahead of Apple’s Fourth Fiscal Quarter Results
- October 24th, 2012
- Apple Financials
- Alex Brooks
On Thursday Apple will reveal its fiscal results for the fourth financial quarter of 2012 as well as the end of year figures. Once again Apple is expected to report a bumper quarter with a number of key product releases having occurred during the quarter.
Apple is highly likely to buck the trend that occurred last week amongst its staunchest competitors with many of the technology giants revealing less than ideal financials. Google was engulfed when an accidental press release revealed a sharp 20-percent drop in net income which caused the stock to tumble with the end result knocking more than nine percent of the company’s market value.
The news wasn’t great elsewhere with Microsoft announcing a greater-than-expected 22 percent drop in quarterly profit. The company is due to begin selling its Surface tablet in the coming weeks and release Windows 8 at the end of this week.
In the smartphone market Apple’s competitors RIM and Nokia continue to go from bad to worse. Nokia continues to cut jobs and slash spending on marketing and research. Last week Nokia revealed another quarterly loss and warned of further trouble ahead despite the impending release of the Finnish company’s Lumia handsets running on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system.
In what seemed like an unlikely turn of events RIM last week gave some moderate optimism to the market when it revealed stronger than expected Blackberry sales (7.4 million for the quarter) and managed to add to its previously dwindling cash reserves. RIM also reaffirmed a release of Blackberry 10 in early 2013, the company’s only hope to prevent its continued downward spiral. However RIM mirrored Nokia and revealed a quarterly loss over $200 million.
Apple’s fourth quarter which ran from July 1 until September 30 will in contrast to competitors be more in line with market expectations and judging by recent quarters could outgrow even the most bullish onlookers. During the quarter the third-generation iPad was released in China—Apple’s fastest growing market. It is unknown how much sales of iPhones will have been dented with anticipation of the iPhone 5 which was only available for just over a week before the quarter ended.
Apple also had two large software releases during the quarter with OS X Mountain Lion coming to the Mac App Store in July and iOS 6 becoming available in mid-September. Both will likely have boosted sales of related devices with particularly strong Mac sales during the back to school season.
Market expectations are for Apple to reveal sales of 5.6 million Macs a healthy rise year-over-year. iPad sales are expected to be around 19 million a sharp rise from 11.1 million in the year-ago quarter. iPhone units look to rise year-over-year to 28 million bouyed by strong iPhone 5 pre-orders but constrained by limited stock (Update: Since writing AT&T and Verizon have published higher than expected iPhone activation numbers, AT&T activated 4.7 million during the quarter and Verizon 3.1 million).
iPods will likely continue to tumble to sales of about 5 million but in the current quarter will likely rise with Christmas season and new iPod nano and touch models.
Overall expectations are for Apple to reveal revenue of $39 billion.
However eyes will be on the coming quarter and Apple’s estimate. Some are predicting that Apple could cross the $60 billion mark for quarterly revenue during its first fiscal quarter of 2013. To put this in perspective earlier this year I wrote how breaking the $40 billion quarterly revenue barrier was impressive, Apple eventually announced revenue of $46.33 billion.