updated 09:30 pm EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
Guidance for quarter indicates slight increase in revenue over year-ago
Apple has announced that its quarterly earnings call for its fiscal third quarter (which ended today) is set for Tuesday, July 22 at 2PM PT (5PM ET). Luca Maestri, Apple's new CFO, will again lead the call along with CEO Tim Cook as he did last quarter -- however, this will be his first call since officially taking over for the retired Peter Oppenheimer. According to the company, earnings will be lower than last quarter -- part of a normative lull before new products and the holiday buying season commence later this year.
Maestri told investors and analysts in April during the last conference call that Apple is expecting revenues to fall between $36 billion and $38 billion, a rise of up to 10 percent from the year-ago quarter. The company surprised analysts last time with an all-time Q2 record amount of revenue, $45.6 billion -- the highest amount the company has ever earned in a non-holiday quarter -- built on the back of unusually strong iPhone sales and higher-than-expected margins. Maestri in April estimated that margins for the June quarter would hit around 37 percent.
Since the 7-to-1 stock split that occurred in early June, AAPL has been trading at or slightly below that level. Currently it is up very slightly from its $92.69 post-split price, closing on Monday at $92.93. Apple's main competitor in smartphones, Samsung, has already warned investors that its next quarterly announcement will be below expectations. If Apple can - as it often does - rise above analyst expectations, the company and stock could get an added boost from Wall Street on its relative merits.
Investors are anxious to finally get new and revamped product announcements from the company, which have been promised for the second half of the year. The biggest anticipation is for the forthcoming "iPhone 6," which may or may not appear in multiple models, and may or may not sport a larger display (though evidence is strong that at least one version will be expanding the screen size to around 4.7 inches). Analysts focus on the iPhone nearly to the exclusion of everything else, since it is Apple's top revenue generator by a wide margin.
Also expected in the second half of 2014 is a refreshed iPad line, updates to the popular Mac mini (to bring it up to speed with the rest of the Mac lineup) and at least one all-new product. Apple is said to be working on a health-and-fitness product, a revamped Apple TV set-top box and possibly other projects, perhaps including an HDTV set with Apple TV technology incorporated into it. The company has of course been notoriously secretive about its plans, but other future intentions have become clear through acquisitions: Apple's purchase of mapping and transit companies, for example, hints at future public transportation expansion in Maps - possibly as early as this fall, alongside iOS 8.
The new releases expected in the next two quarters will be buoyed by software support. Apple has already announced that iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite will ship ahead of the holiday season kickoff, likely debuting with the latest iPhones and iPads. The company has also pre-announced a replacement for Aperture and iPhoto called Photos (not to be confused with the existing iOS "Photos" app) which will run on both platforms, thought to be combining the best features of the previous two programs into one.