Apple just reported its third-quarter earnings, delivering slight — repeat slight — beats of analyst expectations on just about every metric. Overall, with the possible exception of selling 5 million more iPhones than expected, there really is nothing remarkable or extraordinary about Apple's financial performance this quarter.
Excluding stock buybacks, Apple delivered about what analysts expected for earnings per share. (See below for a breakdown of its results versus expectations on several key metrics.) The stock is up a few percentage points in extended trading, and the company's guidance for next quarter fell about in line with analyst projections.
The ho-hum report is owed to the fact once again Apple had no new product releases in the quarter — new products and refreshes of current product lines are the key drivers of Apple's earnings. CEO Tim Cook has hinted in several speaking appearances, and even in today's earnings release, that Apple will be releasing new products this fall, meaning in time for the current or next fiscal quarter.
"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," Cook said.
But that was the extent of the details Cook and his team divulged about those products. So, in an effort to skip the breathless analysis that typically accompanies every little detail about Apple's earnings, here are the numbers for the third quarter — not much else needs to be said:
- Q3 Sales: $35.3 billion vs. $35 billion analyst estimates
- Q3 iPad Sales: 14.6 million vs. about 18 million analyst estimates
- Q3 iPhone Sales: 31.2 million vs. 26.5 million analyst estimates
- Q3 Mac Sales: 3.8 million vs. 3.9 million analyst estimates.
- Q3 iPod Sales: 4.5 million vs. 4.9 million analyst estimates
- Q3 EPS: $7.47 vs. $7.30 (excluding buybacks, EPS was around $7.28)
- Q4 Revenue Guidance: $34 billion to $37 billion, vs. about $37 billion analyst estimates