Apple sags in 3Q as iPhone gets cheaper
NEW YORK — Apple is getting less for its products. That’s a disappointment for investors who thought the company would keep boosting profits and revenues at its previous breakneck pace.
On Tuesday Apple Inc. revealed that its growth slowed in the most recent quarter. In both revenue and net income, the company posted the smallest increases in years, and failed to meet analyst expectations.
It wasn’t so much the volume of sales: Apple sold 17 million iPads in April to June period, beating expectations, and 26 million iPhones, at the low end of expectations.
But Apple’s average selling prices for both gadgets declined to levels last seen in 2010 for the iPhone and the lowest levels ever in the case of the iPad.
Apple introduced a new iPad in March, but kept the older model in stores while cutting its price.
The average selling prices of Macs also fell.
Net income in Apple’s fiscal third quarter was $8.8 billion, or $9.32 per share. That was up 21 percent from $7.3 billion, or $7.79 per share, a year ago.
Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting earings of $10.37 per share.
Revenue at the Cupertino, Calif., company was $35 billion, up 23 percent. Analysts were expecting $37.5 billion.
Apple shares fell $29.82, or 5 percent, to $571.10 in after-hours trading, after the release of the results.
Apple forecast earnings of $7.65 per share for the current quarter, well below the average analyst forecast at $10.26. Normally, Apple’s forecasts are ignored, because the company routinely exceeds them. But for the just-ended quarter, Apple’s cautious forecasts were more accurate than those of analysts.
Apple’s forecast points to year-over-year profit growth of just 9 percent.
For revenue, Apple forecast $34 billion, while analysts have been expecting $38.1 billion.
Apple last missed expectations when it reported results for the quarter that ended in September last year. That was due to the iPhone 4S’s launch being pushed from that quarter to the following one.
Apple’s chief financial officer, Peter Oppenheimer, said the new version of its operating system for Macs, Mountain Lion, will go on sale Wednesday.