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Apple Q4 earnings miss analysts targets

By : Xinhua|Updated: 2011-10-19

Apple Inc. on Tuesday reported strong fourth fiscal quarter results, but the numbers missed analysts' targets.

For the fiscal 2011 fourth quarter ended on Sept. 24, Apple reported a net income of 6.62 billion U.S. dollars or 7.05 dollars per share, compared with 4.31 billion dollars, or 4.64 dollars per share a year ago.

Its revenue reached 28.27 billion dollars, compared with 20.34 billion dollars in the same period last year. Apple noted that international sales accounted for 63 percent of the quarter's revenue.

Average estimate by Thomson Reuters is 7.28 dollars per share and 29.45 billion dollars in revenue.

The company sold 17.07 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 21 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter, and 11.12 million iPads during the quarter, a 166 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter.

Apple said it sold 4.89 million Macs during the quarter, a 26 percent unit increase year-over-year, and 6.62 million iPods, a 27 percent unit decline compared with the same period last year.

"We are thrilled with the very strong finish of an outstanding fiscal 2011, growing annual revenue to 108 billion dollars and growing earnings to 26 billion dollars," said Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive officer.

"Customer response to iPhone 4S has been fantastic, we have strong momentum going into the holiday season, and we remain really enthusiastic about our product pipeline," he said in a statement.

The fourth quarter is Apple's second best quarter ever, which is just short of last quarter's record 28.5 billion dollars in revenue, but it is still below Wall Street's high expectations.

The main reason can be attributed to the iPhone sales, Apple's biggest source of revenue which dipped over 3 million units compared to the third quarter, as consumers have been awaiting the iPhone 4S, the latest version of its smartphone which launched last week.

Some analysts said Apple could also have drained its iPhone 4 supply in the quarter in favor of the upcoming iPhone 4S. On Monday, the company announced that it sold a record 4 million units of iPhone 4S in the first three days. The number is likely to make up for a strong next quarter, analysts predicted.

Another reason is probably that analysts estimated numbers far higher since Apple is well known for low-balling its own projections.

Meanwhile, Apple still beat the Wall Street expectations on iPad sales.

For the full 2011 fiscal year, Apple reported 108 billion dollars in revenue, up 66 percent over fiscal 2010. It sold 72 million iPhones, 32 million iPads and 17 million Macs. It counted 26 billion dollars in net income, up 88 percent year over year.

Apple's shares fell by 6 percent Tuesday in after-hours trading.

Apple released the latest fiscal earnings as the world has been digesting and absorbing the news of the company losing its visionary and co-founder Steve Jobs for almost two weeks.