Apple Misses Guidance (Not Really)

By Adam E. John

Quarter over quarter Apple released guidances, which the company would routinely beat. So much so that now it has become the norm for trade pundits to look beyond Apple’s guidance, and inflate the numbers in anticipation. Apple’s quarterly revenue for its FY 2011 4Q was $28.27 million, well above the company’s guidance of $25 billion. Unfortunately, investors and analysts were forecasting revenues of around $29 billion or so, and the company fell shy of expections. The initial reaction at the results seemed to be muted disappoint, but all that may change as the numbers start sinking in.

Apple sold 17.07 million iPhones in the quarter, representing a 21 per cent unit growth. The company also sold 11.12 million iPads, a 166 per cent QoQ increase. The Company sold 4.89 million Macs, a 26 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter.  Sales of iPods however declined. Apple sold 6.62 million iPods, a 27 per cent unit decline from the year-ago quarter.

Apple’s gross margin showed a 3.4 per cent QoQ jump; or 40.3 per cent for the current quarter-end compared to 36.9 per cent last year. International sales accounted for 63 per cent of the quarter’s revenue. The company generated $5.4 billion in cash.

Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2012 for Apple, the company released a guidance of about $37 billion in revenues, and diluted earnings per share of about $9.30. Apple grew its annual revenue to $108 billion, and earnings to $26 billion.

You can find Apple’s unaudited summary data here.
Tim Cook (CEO, Apple): Customer response to iPhone 4S has been fantastic, we have strong momentum going into the holiday season.

(Adam E. John is consulting editor with He can be reached at [email protected])

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