Since the release of the iPhone 5 and iPad mini, Apple (AAPL) has become the object being satirized by investors, and Apple stock price has dropped from the highest level of $705 in mid-September, to the current $604 in just two months, this further proves that the market is disappointed about its new products.
Apple’s fourth-quarter revenue was $35.966 billion, an increase of 27% from $28.27 billion in the same period last year; net profit was $8.223 billion, or $8.67 per diluted share, an increase of 24% from $6.623 billion in the same period last year. Wall Street analysts had averagely predicted Apple would post earnings of $8.75 per share on revenue of $35.8 billion. After issued sluggish guidance for fiscal year 2013 first quarter results, at least three investment institutions lowered their respective price target on Apple stock.
Investment bank Evercore Partners lowered its target on Apple stock price from $800 to $775, Nomura Equity Research cut its target on Apple stock price from $710 to $660 and investment bank Raymond James cut its price target on this stock from $730 down to $700.
Apple expected revenue would reach $52 billion in the fiscal 2013 first quarter ends December 2012, below analysts’ expectations of $55 billion, according to the survey by Thomson Reuters. Gross margin is expected to reach 36%, and lower than analysts’ estimate of 43%.
Analysts expressed concerns about the decline of Apple’s profit margin, but are not worried about the decline in sales of iPad in the fourth quarter, because many users are waiting for iPad Mini, and this decline will not last long.
On Wednesday, Apple released a group of products, analysts at Nomura Equity Research believe that this will raise the manufacturing cost of Apple for the current quarter.
Since launch in September, iPhone 5 is in short supply. AT&T said the slowdown in user growth in the third quarter is primarily due to the slowdown of the shortage of iPhone 5.
Evercore Partners predicted Apple would sell 49 million units of iPhones in fiscal 2013 first quarter. IDC data show that in the third quarter, smartphone sales of Samsung amounted to 56.3 million, accounting for 31.3% of the total market share, while the shipments of iPhone were 26.9 million units.
The sales of iPad in the fiscal 2012 fourth quarter was 14 million units, missing the consensus estimate, but analysts believe that this figure will advance in the coming year. Evercore Partners expected Apple to sell 67 million of iPads in this year and 97 million in the next year .
Saxo Bank senior stock analyst Peter Bo Kiaer said in an interview with CNBC on Friday that he was worried that Apple’s management is becoming no difference with any other company’s management after seeing the consequence that Steve Jobs is no longer in the company.