Friday, January 25, 2013

APPLE : Time to buy?


Let's not beat around the bush. In several ways, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)'s fiscal first quarter earnings release did leave a little to be desired in some key areas. iPhone units came in below estimates, particularly when considering the optimistic expectations suggested by Verizon's activation figures. Mac units legitimately plunged both sequentially and year over year. Gross margin contracted to the lowest point in two years.

 In after-hours trading, shares reached as low as $457.30, shedding nearly $57, or 11%, from where they closed. That's $53 billion in market cap lost in about an hour.

note : $450.66 is the low at the moment.

 Are you panicking yet?

 On iPhones

The company sold 47.8 million iPhones in the December quarter, 29% higher than a year ago. That was shy of the roughly 50 million that most investors were expecting, and well below the 56 million figure suggested by Verizon's activations.

 The iPhone 5 was constrained throughout most of the quarter, but sales climbed during the tail end as production ramped up. Tim Cook said that iPhone 4 supplies were constrained for the entire quarter. That coincides with the fact that only half of Verizon's iPhone activations were the newest model, indicating strong demand for older models.

 On iPads

iPad units were solid at 22.9 million, driven in part by strong demand for the iPad Mini. That's a jump of 48% over last year. Cook said that the smaller tablet continued to be constrained during the quarter and that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) expects to achieve demand balance this quarter as it ramps up.

Average selling prices expectedly dropped to $467 with the introduction of the iPad Mini, along with the continued presence of the iPad 2. That was a $101 drop in ASP from a year ago.

 On Macs

The total Mac units of 4.06 million were undoubtedly light, dropping 22% year over year and significantly underperforming the broader PC market (negative 6%), breaking Apple's streak. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) no longer reports the mix of desktops and laptops, but Cook attributed most of the shortfall to the "significant" iMac shortages that he warned about last quarter.

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