(By Rich Bieglmeier) Wall Street's pet is no longer a shiny Apple Inc. (AAPL). The tech giant reported earnings of $8.67 per diluted share, versus reduced expectations of $8.75, a minor miss. On the revenue side, the tech titan posted quarterly revenue of $36.0 billion, slightly ahead of the street's view of $35.8 billion.
Under normal circumstances, Wall Street would likely forgive the small eps miss with sales topping forecasts, a wash; however, management's guidance for the next quarter is going to make a lot of money managers head for the liquor cabinet – especially for those who though the iPhone 5 "would save the economy."
The street put a target of $15.41 for the first quarter of 2013. Ah nope, Tim Cook and company say to expect something closer to $11.75, which is 15.3% lower than last year's first-quarter earnings of $13.87. Top-line revenue is expected to be light, too. Guidance now stands at $52 billion, nearly $3 billion below the consensus of $54.98. When Apple's earnings are backing up, it's going to be a rough quarter.
As an old market pro shared with me after the announcements, "Don't be surprised if you start hear the "R" word (recession) from "gurus" soon."
For the quarter, 26.9 million iPhones, 14.0 million iPads, 4.9 million Macs, and 5.3 million iPods were sold. iPads seems to be where the miss may have come from as expectations were for 15.3 million units. The company must have been losing share to the likes of the Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus, hence the iPad mini.
AAPL and the market, could get walloped on Friday; especially when you factor in Amazon's (AMZN) miserable quarterly report.
Apple shares have initial support at $600, roughly where the stock is in after hours. The more important price level to watch is the AAPL's 200-day moving average of $585. If/when the price falls below buy/sell, benchmark trend-line, then $525 could come into focus.
Fortunately, for iStock readers, they knew earnings were likely to miss, that initial iPhone 5 sales would be around 5 million and that a top in price was near at $670. We only hope you listened.