Oct 30 2013, 2:31pm CDT | by Bijon Kumar Pramanik
As a result of less than great third quarter numbers, Apple’s stock slid 5 percent at one stage on Monday.
Even Wall Street predicted better quarterly sales, based on Apple forecasted in September that its margins and revenue for the third quarter would be high, or as Apple’s Tim Cook predicted ’really great’. Apple’s expected revenue for this quarter was $55 to $58 billion, while Wall Street forecasted about $55.65 billion.
Holiday season is a crucial time for Apple. New iPads will be competing with Kindle Fire from Amazon.com Inc and with cheap Samsung Electronic gadgets, all using Android software.
A growing number of lower-cost rivals, as well as much higher demand for Apple’s cheaper, colorful iPhone 5C in comparison with its lagging, more expensive relative 5S, are raising question about Apple’s smartphone market positioning. Investors are worried that Apple missed the opportunity to come up with cheaper phone that could successfully fight off Samsung in China.
Apple’s revenue from Hong Kong, China and Taiwan are up by 6 percent in the quarter, to $5.7 billion. In comparison with the previous quarter, sales went up by 24 percent, from about $1.1 billion, but were lower than $1.4 billion that Apple made in the last quarter of 2012.
Alex Gauna, JMP Securities analyst considers Apple ‘a very healthy company, but not a growth company.”
During his discussion with analysts, Cook did not mention the popularity of the iPhone 5C but did mentioned "a very significant backlog" for much more expensive iPhone 5S.
Some investors hope that Apple will again come up with some revolutionary device after the holiday season and bring Apple back to its stellar past growth. Some shareholders are aggressively demanding a bigger return of cash. The demand is led by Carl Icahn, a billionaire who owns about 4.7 million Apple shares. Icahn is demanding that Apple buys back more than $150 billion of its own stock.
Bijon Kumar Pramanik
Bijon Kumar Pramanik is an experienced technology writer working since years in the consumer electronics field.
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