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Apple delights and disappoints

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The Apple quarterly results this week delighted those who were looking for revenue growth, but provided a series of disappointments, especially lurking within record iPhone sales.

Apple’s quarterly results were announced this week with yet another high point in Apple history: the most iPhones ever sold in an April-June quarter. Unfortunately, the sterling number of 31,2-million phones sold (up from 26-million in the same quarter a year ago) happened to be dramatically down from the January-March quarter, when it moved 37,4-million iPhones.

To make matters worse, half of these sales were of older 4 and 4S models – with prices and margins slashed to make way for the 5. The result? Apple’s profit margin has slipped from 42.8% a year ago to 36.9%.Tightening margins on iPads have also contributed to the slip.

Nevertheless, investors responded with delight to news that apps, software and iTunes sales had leaped by 25% and research and development spending was also climbing – reinforcing expectations of big new things from Apple.

In its financial results for its fiscal 2013 third quarter ended 29 June 29 2013, the company posted quarterly revenue of $35.3 billion and quarterly net profit of $6.9 billion, or $7.47 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $35 billion and net profit of $8.8 billion, or $9.32 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 36.9 percent compared to 42.8 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 57 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

The Company sold 31.2 million iPhones, a record for the June quarter, compared to 26 million in the year-ago quarter. Apple also sold 14.6 million iPads during the quarter, compared to 17 million in the year-ago quarter. The Company sold 3.8 million Macs, compared to 4 million in the year-ago quarter.

Apple’s Board of Directors has declared a cash dividend of $3.05 per share of the Company’s common stock. The dividend is payable on August 15, 2013, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on August 12, 2013.

‚”We are especially proud of our record June quarter iPhone sales of over 31 million and the strong growth in revenue from iTunes, Software and Services,‚” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. ‚”We are really excited about the upcoming releases of iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks, and we are laser-focused and working hard on some amazing new products that we will introduce in the fall and across 2014.‚”

‚”We generated $7.8 billion in cash flow from operations during the quarter and are pleased to have returned $18.8 billion in cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases,‚” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO.

Apple is providing the following guidance for its fiscal 2013 fourth quarter:

• revenue between $34 billion and $37 billion

• gross margin between 36 percent and 37 percent

• operating expenses between $3.9 billion and $3.95 billion

• other income/(expense) of $200 million

• tax rate of 26.5%

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