Apple beats Street forecasts, but earnings fall

Well, it looks like Apple's latest financial results are mixed. One the one hand, Reuters says the company's revenue and earnings both beat Wall Street's forecasts. On the other hand, Apple's revenue was flat, and its profits were down compared to the same quarter a year ago.

Here are the dirty details. Just a reminder: the second quarter of this calendar year roughly corresponded to the company's third fiscal quarter.

  Q3 FY'12 Q2 FY'13 Q3 FY'13
Revenue $35.0 billion $43.6 billion $35.3 billion
Net profit $8.8 billion $9.5 billion $6.9 billion
Gross margin 42.8% 37.5% 36.9%

And here's some shipment data for the company's main hardware product lines:

  Q3 FY'12 Q2 FY'13 Q3 FY'13
iPhones 26.0 million 37.4 million 31.2 million
iPads 17.0 million 19.5 million 14.6 million
Macs 4.0 million 3.95 million 3.8 million
iPods 6.8 million 5.6 million 4.6 million

I guess those NPD forecasts we wrote about yesterday were pretty much spot on—Mac shipments dipped by 5% both sequentially and year-over-year. This marks the third quarter in a row that Mac shipments have gone down. Clearly, Apple isn't immune to the ongoing shrinkage in the PC market at large. iPads may not be picking up the slack, either; iPad shipments were down substantially last quarter.

Only iPhone shipments were up. Apple CEO Tim Cook says Apple is "especially proud" of the quarter's "record" iPhone sales and of "strong growth in revenue from iTunes, Software and Services." His statement doesn't address the company's other businesses—just the fact that Apple is hard at work on upcoming software and hardware.

For the ongoing quarter, the company expects revenue to fall between $34 billion and $37 billion, with gross margin in the 36-37% range. That, too, could mean flat revenue growth and potentially lower earnings than a year ago. Apple posted $36 billion in revenue and a 40% gross margin for the same quarter last year.

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