Trading in Apple Shares Halted Briefly As Company Misses Expectations
Apple's per-share earnings fell short of expectations and trading was temporarily halted during the after-hours session. When trading resumed, reaction was relatively sedate, with shares down 4 percent initially but climbing and eventually trading fractionally higher.
Apple said Thursday it earned a net profit of $8.2 billion in its fiscal fourth quarter, up from $6.6 billon in the year-ago quarter. Revenue was $36 billion, up from $28.3 billion.
On a per-share basis, Apple posted $8.67 while Wall Street expected about $8.75.
Apple sold 14 million iPads during the quarter, which is 26 percent more than it sold in the same quarter last year.
The company sold 26.9 million iPhones in the quarter, about 58 percent more than a year ago, and 4.9 million Mac computers, up 1 percent from a year ago. Apple sold 5.3 million iPods, a 19 percent drop from a year ago.
Apple's board of directors on Thursday also declared a cash divident of $2.65 per share payable to shareholders of record on Nov. 12.
Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer predicted $52 billion of revenue in the company's fiscal fourth quarter, which includes the Christmas gift-giving season.
During a Thursday conference call with analysts to discuss earnings, Oppenheimer and CEO Tim Cook spent a good amount of time talking up the new iPad mini.
"We didn't set out to build a small, cheap tablet, we set out to build a smaller iPad that offered the full iPad experience," Oppenheimer said. "The difference between the iPad mini and the competition is profound."
Cook added that the7.9-inch iPad mini is bigger than some other small tablets, and he berated some of those competing products.
"Let me be clear: we will not make one of the 7-inch tablets," Cook said. "We don't think they're good products, and we would never make one."
Also on Thursday, Apple caused headaches for investors in Pandora, courtesy of a report from Bloomberg indicating that the giant consumer electronics company will launch a service to compete with Pandora's Internet radio product next year.
Pandora shares plunged 19 percent on the Bloomberg report and, like Apple, trading was briefly halted. When trading resumed the stock recovered somehwhat, ending the day's regular session down 12 percent to $8.20.
During regular trading, Apple shares rose 1 percent to $609.54.