Apple shares closed above $600 on July 23rd last year and then fell sharply on the 24th when Apple posted a huge earnings miss for fiscal Q3 2012. The stock recovered quickly though, and then skyrocketed to $705 ahead of the iPhone 5 launch in late September. The rest, as they say, is history. Apple shares are now down 40% since hitting that record high last year and the road to recovery remains unclear. We’re still about two months away from seeing anything new and exciting from Apple, and the company’s fiscal third-quarter results will likely give us a good idea of what to expect for much of the current quarter until Apple finally launches its next-generation iPhones and iPad, which are expected to be released in late September. In the meantime, Apple’s fiscal Q3 2013 numbers are now in.
Wall Street expected a steep EPS decline in the third quarter as Apple’s margins continue to get squeezed. Analysts’ consensus called for a profit of $7.29 per share, down from $9.32 in FQ3 last year, on sales totaling $34.94 billion. Apple on Tuesday posted results that beat estimates, with earnings coming in at $7.47 per share, or $6.9 billion, on $35.01 billion in revenue.
Apple said it expects fiscal fourth-quarter revenue to land between $34 billion and $37 billion.
Sales of Apple’s iPhone lineup were expected to grow slightly from 26.03 million units in the fiscal third quarter last year to 26.57 million units last quarter. Actual sales came in at 31.2 million units, smashing the Street’s expectations.
Elsewhere in Apple’s product lineup, consensus estimates sought iPad sales totaling 17.62 million units in the fiscal third quarter, while iPod sales were seen falling to 4.98 million units from 6.75 million in FQ3 2012, and Mac sales were expected to decline marginally to 3.86 million units. Apple on Tuesday said it sold 14.6 million iPads, 4.57 million iPods and 3.8 million Mac computers last quarter.
Apple said the average selling price of the iPhone lineup was $581 last quarter compared to the $591 consensus.
Shares of Apple stock climbed more than 5% during Tuesday’s after-hours session following the company’s report.
Apple’s press release follows below.
Apple Reports Third Quarter Results
Sales of 31 Million iPhones Set New June Quarter Record
CUPERTINO, California—July 23, 2013—Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2013 third quarter ended June 29, 2013. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $35.3 billion and quarterly net profit of $6.9 billion, or $7.47 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $35 billion and net profit of $8.8 billion, or $9.32 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 36.9 percent compared to 42.8 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 57 percent of the quarter’s revenue.
The Company sold 31.2 million iPhones, a record for the June quarter, compared to 26 million in the year-ago quarter. Apple also sold 14.6 million iPads during the quarter, compared to 17 million in the year-ago quarter. The Company sold 3.8 million Macs, compared to 4 million in the year-ago quarter.
Apple’s Board of Directors has declared a cash dividend of $3.05 per share of the Company’s common stock. The dividend is payable on August 15, 2013, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on August 12, 2013.
“We are especially proud of our record June quarter iPhone sales of over 31 million and the strong growth in revenue from iTunes, Software and Services,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We are really excited about the upcoming releases of iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks, and we are laser-focused and working hard on some amazing new products that we will introduce in the fall and across 2014.”
“We generated $7.8 billion in cash flow from operations during the quarter and are pleased to have returned $18.8 billion in cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO.
Apple is providing the following guidance for its fiscal 2013 fourth quarter:
revenue between $34 billion and $37 billion
gross margin between 36 percent and 37 percent
operating expenses between $3.9 billion and $3.95 billion
other income/(expense) of $200 million
tax rate of 26.5%