Apple Inc. First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

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S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, January 24, 2012. Apple offers a range personal computers, mobile devices, and portable digital music and video players. The company also sells related software, services, peripherals, and networking solutions.

Apple, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet.

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $9.98 per share, a rise of 55.2% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from $9.64. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has risen from $9.81 during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $35.28 per share, a rise of 27.5% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company missed estimates last quarter after beating forecasts in the prior two. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, the company reported profit of $7.05 per share versus a mean estimate of net income of $7.31 per share. In the third quarter of the last fiscal year, the company beat estimates by $1.98.

Investing Insights: Will the iPad 3 Be the Next Catalyst for Apple’s Stock?

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $38.65 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 44.5% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $140.22 billion for the year, a rise of 29.5% from last year’s revenue of $108.25 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with 39 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and two rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, profit rose 53.7% to $6.62 billion ($7.05 a share) from $4.31 billion ($4.64 a share) the year earlier, but fell short analyst expectations. Revenue rose 39% to $28.27 billion from $20.34 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past four quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 68.5%, with the biggest boost coming in the second quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose 82.7% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose more than twofold in the third quarter of the last fiscal year and 94.8% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Lenovo Group Limited (LNVGY), Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE), Intl. Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), Super Micro Computer, Inc. (NASDAQ:SMCI), and Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK).

Stock Price Performance: During November 17, 2011 to January 18, 2012, the stock price had risen $51.70 (13.7%) from $377.41 to $429.11. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between July 14, 2011 and July 26, 2011 when shares rose for nine-straight days, rising 12.8% (+$45.64) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between September 23, 2011 and October 4, 2011 when shares fell for eight-straight days, falling 7.9% (-$31.80) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

Investing Insights: Will the iPad 3 Be the Next Catalyst for Apple’s Stock?

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