As some investors feared, Apple on Tuesday reported numbers that were worse than its performance a year ago for the second quarter--though the company still saw record sales for its March quarter.
The company posted $43.6 billion in revenue for the quarter, with net profit of $9.5 billion. That puts earnings at $10.09 per diluted share, down from $12.30 a year ago. In the same quarter last year, Apple reported $39.2 billion in revenue and profit of $11.6 billion.
While Wall Street is sure to take a dim view of Apple's quarterly performance, it's worth noting the company had a large bar to clear to surpass the second quarter of 2012. In that year-ago quarter, Apple saw profit nearly double to record levels for the March quarter on the strength of the strength of the third-generation iPad's debut. In the just-completed quarter, Apple didn't introduce any new products.
Apple's gross margin for the quarter was down nearly 10 percent from the year-ago quarter: 37.5 percent for the 2013 quarter, compared to 47.4 percent for the second quarter of 2012.
On an earnings call with Wall Street analysts, Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged that Apple's growth rate has slowed, and that its margins have decreased from 2012. Cook pointed out the advantages of 2012, including favorable foreign currency and historically low component costs--while further referencing the iPad mini as a lower-margin Apple product.
Cook has an optimistic outlook for the future, telling analysts that the company has "some really great stuff coming in the fall and of course in all of 2014." Cook expressed frustration and disappointment with Apple's stock performance, but added that the "most important thing is creating innovative products, which is still in our control."
Two-thirds of Apple's revenue in the second quarter came from international sales.
iPhone and iPad
Apple enjoyed record revenue for the March quarter thanks to solid levels of iPhone and iPad sales and the strongest-ever quarter for its iTunes digital content store.
iPhone sales were up seven percent year over year to 37.4 million units. Apple pointed to comScore numbers showing the iPhone as the top smartphone share in the U.S., with 39 percent market share. For the ninth consecutive time, Apple said, the iPhone has ranked highest in smartphone customer satisfaction from JD Power and Associates.
Asked about smartphone market share, Cook said, "The smartphone market has always been competitive"--though he pointed out that the names involved change: It used to be RIM as the biggest competitor, and now it's Samsung. "We feel we have the best products by far. We continue to innovate in products," Cook said. He added that Apple has the best mobile ecosystem by far, and that it plans to keep augmenting it.
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