Apple investors suffer a sucker punch — but still get paid


The numbers are in. Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) booked US$9.32 a share in profits on US$35.02 billion in revenue. Analysts were expecting US$10.36 a share of profit on US$37.18 billion in revenue, according to Yahoo! Finance.

Seeing those numbers has to be disheartening for investors who’ve endured lousy reports from the likes of Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), which missed revenue estimates because of flagging PC market growth, and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), which fell after reporting its first quarterly loss as a public company.

Apple, for its part, is taking advantage of the post-PC world as Wintel works on bringing a Windows 8 tablet to market. But at least this quarter, investors were hoping for much more in the way of iPad, iPhone, and Mac sales during fiscal Q3:

Product

Actual

Median Projected

Last Year

Y-o-Y Growth

iPhones sold 26.03 million 32.75 million 20.34 million 27.9%
iPads sold 17.04 million 18.84 million 9.25 million 84.2%
Macs sold 4.02 million 4.45 million 3.95 million (1.7%)

Sources: Fortune magazine, SEC filings, Apple press release.

Each figure is disappointing in its own way, though the “new” iPad appears to be the biggest cause for concern in my mind. Enthusiasm for Amazon.com‘s (Nasdaq: AMZN) low-priced Kindle may have kept some buyers away from Apple’s tab. Reports of strong demand for Google‘s (Nasdaq: GOOG) Nexus 7 may keep them away again in fiscal Q4.

Investors aren’t taking the news well. As of this writing, shares of the Mac maker are down more than 4% after hours. The last time Apple disappointed investors like this, the stock fell more than 10%. Brace yourself if you own shares.

And don’t sell. Now that Apple is sitting on more than US$100 billion in cash plus short- and long-term investments — US$117.2 billion, if you want to be precise — CEO Tim Cook and the Apple board figure there’s no need to wait longer to pay shareholders a meaty dividend. Owners as of Aug. 13 can expect to receive US$2.65 for each share they own on Aug. 16.

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The Motley Fools purpose is to help the world invest, better. Take Stock is The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. Click here now to request your free subscription, whilst it’s still available. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

A version of this article, written by Tim Beyers, originally appeared on fool.com

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