“Shares of Apple Inc. rose about 10% in premarket trading Wednesday, a day after the company posted robust growth in fourth-quarter profit and strong sales of its new 3G iPhone,” MarketWatch reports. “Although the Cupertino, Calif.-based company’s earnings grew by 26% and topped analysts’ estimates, Apple kept with its tradition and delivered a first-quarter outlook that fell below analysts’ forecasts.”
“‘We still believe that Apple’s market share momentum in Macs, iPods, and iPhones could help the company weather the macro storm better than most of its peers in coming quarters,’ wrote analysts at J.P. Morgan on Wednesday morning,” MarketWatch reports. “‘Indeed, the pro forma iPhone revenue and EPS figures associated with that business point to a major revenue and cash flow generator beyond the long term, which could offer a backstop to valuation.’ The analysts maintained an overweight rating on the stock.”
“Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said that for Apple’s fiscal first quarter, the company expects to earn between $1.06 and $1.35 a share on revenue in a range of $9 billion to $10 billion… Analysts surveyed by FactSet Research had forecast Apple to earn $1.65 a share on $10.6 billion in sales,” MarketWatch reports.
“But despite the weaker-than-expected forecast, Apple’s shares rose 11% to $101.50 in after-hours trading, largely on the words of Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs, who made a rare appearance on the company’s conference call,” MarketWatch reports. “Jobs cited mobile phone industry results that said during the most-recent quarter, Apple’s 6.9 million iPhones sold were greater than the 6.1 million BlackBerry devices sold by Research In Motion Ltd., and that the company has become the world’s third-largest mobile phone vendor, in terms of revenue.”
“For its fourth quarter, Apple said it earned $1.14 billion, or $1.26 a share, on revenue of $7.9 billion, up from $904 million, or $1.01 a share, on $6.22 billion in sales in the same period a year ago,” MarketWatch reports. “Apple said that when adjusting to eliminate the impact of subscription-based accounting related to certain products, it would have earned $2.44 billion on $11.68 billion in sales. During the quarter Sept. 27, Apple said it sold 2.6 million Mac computers, along with 11 million iPod digital media players.”
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