(By Balaseshan) Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) reported quarterly earnings that exceeded market expectations. However, the technology giant, which declared a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share, guided second-quarter revenue below market expectations, sending its shares down 4.93% in aftermarket.
Earnings per share (EPS) were $13.81 per share for the first quarter, compared with $13.87 per share in the year-ago quarter, exceeding Wall Street projections of $13.44 a share.
Revenue grew 17.7 percent to $54.51 billion, missing the consensus estimate of a 18.1 percent growth to $54.73 billion. International sales accounted for 61 percent of the quarter's revenue.
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The company's iPhone sales jumped 29 percent to 47.8 million units, yet came in below market expectations of 50 million units.
iPad sales surged 48 percent to 22.86 million units. Apple sold 4.0 million Macs, a 22 percent plunge over the year-ago quarter. iPod sales dropped 18 percent to 12.68 million units.
Gross margin declined to 38.6 percent from 44.7 percent in the year-ago period.
In the fourth quarter, Apple's EPS surged to $8.67 from $7.05. Net sales surged 27.2 percent to $35.97 billion. iPhone sales jumped 58 percent to 26.9 million units, and iPad sales surged 26 percent to 14.0 million units. Apple sold 4.9 million Macintosh computers, an increase of 1 percent from last year.
Apple's board declared a cash dividend of $2.65 per common share, payable on February 14 to shareholders of record as of February 11.
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Looking ahead into the second quarter, AAPL forecasts revenue of $41 billion to $43 billion, while analysts expect $45.63 billion. The company expects gross margin of 37.5 percent to 38.5 percent, operating expenses of $3.8 billion to $3.9 billion, and tax rate of 26 percent for the second quarter.
Apple's earnings have stumbled for the last two quarters and three of the last five. In each disappointing case, the stock lost ground in the days surrounding the announcement dropping 4.7%, 4.7%, and 3.8%, from last quarter back.
AAPL closed Wednesday's regular session up 1.86 percent at $514.17. The stock has been trading between $419.55 and $705.07 for the past 52 weeks.