How will Apple fare?  Company reports earnings on October 21

“The first big computer maker to release figures for the September quarter is Apple (AAPL), which reports on Oct. 21. There’s growing concern that Apple may be experiencing a slowdown in Mac sales. ‘Cracks may be starting to form in its PC business, where the firm has enjoyed growth driven by the iPod and iPhone halo effect, and by broad-based share gains,’ wrote FBR Research analyst Craig Berger in a research note issued on Oct. 8. Berger estimates that Apple has cut its orders by 17%. The company is expected to report sales of $8.07 billion and per-share profit of $1.11. For the December period, Apple is expected to record $10.83 billion in sales and a $1.70 per-share profit,” Arik Hesseldahl.

MacDailyNews Take: Historically, Apple has cut certain orders ahead of new products and product transitions.

Hesseldahl continues, “Apple is also set to take the wraps off a new line of notebooks on Oct. 14. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says he expects Apple to reveal, among other things, a notebook that sells for $899 to $999, less than the company’s other computers. A lower-priced notebook would help explain a drop in gross margins that the company warned about when it last reported earnings in July.”

Hesseldahl reports, “Signs of a slowdown in PCs and consumer electronics in general were already beginning to show by Labor Day, says NPD Group researcher Stephen Baker. ‘The back-to-school season wasn’t great, and we’ve seen sales weaken since then,’ he says.”

MacDailyNews Take: Wasn’t great for whom, exactly? By now, even if the analysts can’t figure it out, at least Hesseldahl should know better than to lump Apple in with a bunch of PC box assemblers and printer cartridge peddlers.

More in the full article here.

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