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Apple Stock Sinks After Quarterly Earnings

iphone 5 PR image White - P 2012
Apple

The company sold far fewer iPhones than analysts had predicted.

Apple shares sunk 8 percent after the closing bell after reporting far fewer sales of iPhones than analysts had predicted. It earned $14.50 per share in the most recent quarter on $57.6 billion revenue.

The company sold only 51 million iPhones, while Wall Street expected about 57 million, and it sold 26 million iPads, while the Street was looking for about 25 million.

Analysts were expecting Apple to report $57.47 billion in revenue and earnings per share of $14.09. Apple itself had forecast revenue of from $55 billion to $58 billion.

Shares of Apple advanced 1 percent on Monday and are up 28 percent in the past year, but after the closing bell the stock was off $44.50 to $506. Also hurting shares was a disappointing outlook from Apple, which said it would report current-quarter revenue of from $42 billion to $44 billion while analysts were expecting a little more than $46 billion.

Nevertheless, Apple's $57.6 billion in revenue in its fiscal first quarter represents a record for the new-media giant, and iPhone and iPad sales also notched record sales.

Apple said its board has declared a cash dividend of $3.05 per share payable Feb. 14 to shareholders of record on Feb. 10.

Sales of iPods plunged 52 percent year-over-year to just 6 million during the quarter, and during a conference call with analysts on Monday Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged that "all of us have known for some time that iPod is a declining business."

Apple said sales of iPhones were hurt by changes in policies among carriers, which discouraged some customers from upgrading their phones.

Peter Oppenheimer, the CFO, said that iTunes generated $2.4 billion in revenue for Apple during the quarter, a new record and up 14 percent from a year earlier.

As always, Apple hinted at new products in the works but was nonspecific.

"We have zero issue coming up with things we want to do that we think can disrupt in a major way," Cook said during the conference call. "The challenge is always to focus on the very few that deserve all of our energy. We've always done that, we continue to do that."