There’s a lot on the line for Apple as Q209 earning release looms later today

“Apple will report its fiscal second quarter after the bell tonight, and if the company’s recent run is any indication, it looks like investors are preparing themselves for some pretty positive news. Which means the company could be setting up for a ‘sell-on-the-news’ scenario if guidance comes up shorter than expected,” Jim Goldman reports for CNBC.

“Wall Street is expecting $1.09 a share on $7.95 billion, both categories nicely ahead of Apple’s typically conservative guidance of 90 cents to a $1 a share on $7.6 billion to $8 billion. The key numbers as usual: Total Mac shipments with a consensus of 2.24 million units; iPod shipments of 10.8 million units; and 3.4 million iPhones. Analysts are expecting a nice bump in gross margins as well of 33.3 percent versus the 32.5 percent that Apple guided. That could also translate into a nice, bottom line beat,” Goldman reports.

“Looking ahead to Apple’s third quarter, the Street is anticipating $1.12 on $8.278 billion in revenue. Look for the company to come in well below that figure since Apple historically has been excessively conservative in its guidance. Anything close, or even over Wall Street’s expectations could be considered very bullish. But with new products anticipated for a June release, it’s unlikely there will be any noticeable financial sparks in the current quarter,” Goldman reports.

“If Apple does well today, in its first complete quarter without Steve Jobs in the C-suite, it’ll go a long way toward emboldening investors about how this company operates without him, and what happens next in Cupertino,” Goldman reports.

Much more in the full article

MacDailyNews Note: We’ll have Apple’s earnings results as soon as they are released today (around 4:30pm EDT) and also our usual live coverage notes from Apple’s conference call beginning at 5pm EDT. Check our home page for both stories later today at the appropriate times.

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