Signs of trouble for Apple?

Shares fall to $585 in after-hours trading as investors react to the company's quarterly earnings report.

By Jim J. Jubak Oct 25, 2012 5:23PM
Credit: 2012 Apple Inc
Caption: Apple iPhone 5Just the old conservative Apple (AAPL) lowball on guidance or a sign of trouble? The market will tell us how it how it sees Apple's September quarter numbers and its guidance for the December quarter definitively Friday. 

Thursday, when trading resumed at 4:50 p.m. ET in the after-hours session, the stock fell all the way to $585 before rebounding to $613.28 as of 4:55 p.m. (Apple is a member of my Jubak’s Picks portfolio.)

Guidance, I’d guess, is going to be the big issue. Apple told investors to expect $11.75 a share for the December quarter versus the current Wall Street estimate of $15.53. Revenue, for the quarter, will be $52 billion, the company said, instead of the $54.95 billion of the Wall Street consensus.

But there will be questions about the current quarter as well. The company reported September quarter earnings of $8.67 a share, missing the Wall Street projection of $8.75. Revenue climbed 27.2% year over year to $35.97 billion, a tad above the Wall Street consensus of $35.78 billion.

Apple sold 256.9 million iPhones in the quarter -- better than the Wall Street estimate of 250 million. But sales of 14 million iPads were below analyst estimates of 17 million and the sale of 4.9 million Macs in the quarter lagged Wall Street’s consensus of 5 million.

Gross margins of 40% in the quarter trailed the Wall Street consensus of 40.6% but were significantly above the company’s own guidance for 38.5%.

At the time of this writing, Jim Jubak didn't own shares of any companies mentioned in this post in personal portfolios. The mutual fund he manages, Jubak Global Equity Fund (JUBAX), may or may not own positions in any stock mentioned. The fund did own shares of Apple as of the end of the June quarter. For a full list of the stocks in the fund as of the end of the most recent quarter, see the fund's portfolio here. 

57Comments
Oct 25, 2012 6:13PM
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Sensory Overload... Social Short-Circuit,

 

Doesn't just about every human being on the planet that wants and can afford one of the various Apple products already have one? At some point, even the most successful innovations, products and services saturate their various target markets until the ascending sales parabola begins to plateau and eventually begin some descent back from heaven to the real-world realities that all business must eventually inhabit. 

 

The larger issue is that Tim Cook may be the CEO and the business end of the company, but he is not a corporate 'visionary' in the broader social context. Apple is sitting on well over $100 Billion in cash assets and he has done virtually nothing to 'give back to society' in ways that would strengthen the Apple image, enamour it's legacy and prepare for a more broadbased business future.

 

With even a committment of perhaps$ 2 Billion, Apple could invest $ 40 Million in each of the 50 states to create a regional "Apple Technology Campus". The facility would take the best and the brightest students from that state's high schools, junior colleges, universities and local tech centers and provide tuition free state-of-the-art training in R&D, computer technology, and all of the related sciences. These students would be the new 'seeds' for Apple's future ideas, technical innovations, product development and long term growth. This company simply needs to do a lot more than simply design and sell "i-Stuff"... they need some open-minded creative leadership to become more pro-active to create a softer, more positive corporate image, an improved public persona and, moreover, a strengthened social contract with America. They are surely big enough and rich enough to do absolutely anything that they want, but it's really time to step up to the plate to do some of the things that give back to society in a positive way.

 

Peace to all ~

Oct 25, 2012 5:41PM
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I still maintain that the biggest sign of trouble for Apple is that there's a tombstone that bears the name of Steve Jobs.
Oct 25, 2012 6:49PM
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Hope these a$$holes go bankrupt.  US economy is in the toilet and half the nation is obsessed with buying overpriced, mostly useless (for most peoples purposes) foreign produced garbage.

 

Better get on foodstamps so you can afford that new iPhone.  Wouldn't wanna miss out on the newest techno gadget gauranteed to be obsolete in a year.

Oct 25, 2012 5:51PM
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"Apple sold 256.9 million iPhones in the quarter -- better than the Wall Street estimate of 25 million."

 

Possibly an error in the article.

Oct 25, 2012 6:29PM
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IF WE ALL HAD APPLES PROBLEMS PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEE.
Oct 25, 2012 6:33PM
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They might have made better numbers this quarter if they weren't out of IPhone 5's everywhere in the US right now.
Oct 25, 2012 7:18PM
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I bought in at $11.00/sh so unless it gets down to 10.59 i'm hanging on for the long haul. 
Oct 25, 2012 6:48PM
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   APPLE for 2012 made a PROFIT of $41 BILLION dollars.  Thats over $3.5 Billion dollars a month.
$800 million dollars a week or $114 million dollars of profit a day.  Thats also $4.7 million dollars an
hour. Or $80,000 dollars of profit a minute.  Or $1300.00 dollars a second, off of earnings of $8.67 a share for the 4rth quarter.
        Their forward guidance for first quarter of 2013 is $11.75 a share.  So what is the problem with
APPLE?  If your selling than I am buying.  Anyone selling at these level is an IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!

Oct 25, 2012 7:34PM
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Apple is now reacting to the market rather than creating it. People also have a "bad taste" for Apple after the Samsung rulings.
Oct 25, 2012 6:18PM
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So an earnings miss of .08 on analyst expectations....almost a rounding error at this level....results in gloom and doom?  I just don't get it. Here is a stock that fell from 705 to 605 while growing at 24% in a challenging quarter where both supply chain and new product introductions provided big headwinds....they are fully loaded for Christmas season with the new mini.   I am a buyer.
Oct 25, 2012 8:07PM
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If Apple is showing signs of weeakness .... then the rest of the stock market is really in trouble?? How many companies have prroduced bad earnings, which is giving you a inside look at the miserable economy which determines the stock market.  I don't think that there is one part of the economy that has signs of growth. 

So Barry ... what is your plan to get the economy back on it's feeet?? "DUH .... I have absolutely no plan or idea on what to do .... but I can make some pretty good beer" .... MORON!

Oct 25, 2012 7:31PM
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Most Wall Street analysts are buffoons...what are known as "dead fish".  Why do people listen to them???  
Oct 25, 2012 7:07PM
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Apples fall faster than they rise!

 

Killing people that manufacture your devices should not be good business.

 

Stealing and then claiming others stole from you should not be good business.

 

Robbing people, the mentally ill, should not be good business.

 

Apple will join Steve Jobs soon!

Oct 25, 2012 7:44PM
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Margins of 40% and. the stock price goes down...this is just imbecilic
Oct 25, 2012 7:22PM
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I have a 4s and its a good phone,  my buddy has a Galixy and loves his?
Oct 26, 2012 8:16AM
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3rd quarter earnings are down almost every time, every year. This is a cyclical pattern that you can count on. If you can't see or forecast past a couple of weeks down the road - you're fools !

A [V]ery [L]ame poster around here spouts off that it's the end, the approaching catastrophe or something like that.  WHAT A IDIOT !!!!!!

 

Christmas is coming and with that season, many, many people will be snapping these Apple products up-as well as the new Windows 8. 4th quarter earnings will be fine with Apple & Microsoft.

Oct 26, 2012 9:43AM
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Ok- the blamee brought up a important point- going broke for 1st qtr. 2013. Well- if you receive government benefits like SSI & SSDI, then you can apply for a PASS plan(Plan for Achieving Self Support) and/or PESS Plan (Property Essential to Self Support). You need to contact your local SSA office & local Community Work Incentives Coordinators (CWIC's) to guide you to identify and utilize all available work incentives. All states have WIPA projects (Work Incentives Planning & Assistance). Your local offices for Vocational Rehabilitation can help pay for some of these & with the right guidance, still be able to acquire these tools we need for running a business without jeopardizing your cash benefits from SSDI & SSI.

Oct 26, 2012 7:59AM
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Because they didn't hit the chip on their shoulder market targets? I thought you were better than that.
Oct 25, 2012 8:11PM
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OMG, Apple missed their earnings target.  The end of the world is really here.  Grab your IPhone and head downstairs carefully.  
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