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Apple: profits below expectations

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Apple during the quarter still ongoing will not be able to meet the profit forecasts drawn up in the past weeks.

The announcement arrived from the same Cupertino company that yesterday, late at night (Italian time) issued a "profit warning" in which it stresses that the quarterly financial statements will close positively but with earnings reduced by about 10% compared to what is desired . Apple should not exceed $ 1.45 billion in revenue versus the expected 1.6.It will result in profits between 8 and 10 cents per share versus the 11 expected by the market, a decline made more modest by the fact that Apple succeeded to keep the gross margins high.

"There are essentially three reasons that will determine a reduction in earnings – said the head of financial operations Fred Anderson during a meeting with journalists – the first was the general weakness of the market. During the quarter we did not have the traditional rebound in sales. A problem that many of our competitors have also suffered. The second reason is sales below expectations in the consumer and creative sector and finally the third in sales below expectations in Europe and Japan "

Anderson then explained that, particularly with regards to the graphics and advertising market, Apple is struggling with an effect induced by the economic crisis that has reduced the costs of the agencies as a consequence of a drop in the volume of advertising at the level world. Adobe itself only a few days ago admitted that sales of Photoshop and other creative products are below expectations.

If in the US the problems come from volumes not equal to expectations in the Pro sector, in Europe sales are weak on the whole front. Answering a specific question Anderson said that "the generalized and verifiable drop in both the professional and consumer fields", a statement that appears to be decidedly in line with what Intel itself said only a few days ago when it indicated in the old continent the weakest market for its products and the PC market in general.

Anderson rejected the assumption that underlying the sales not in line with forecasts there is a non-positive trend of the iMac LCD determined by its price. In fact, urged Anderson has expressed the belief that the iMac has a fully competitive price list.

Anderson also glossed over a question that referred to a possible lowering of iMac prices, also determined by a drop in the costs of some components (in particular RAM memories) admitted by Apple itself. "I don't think we are facing a cost problem with regards to the iMac," limited himself to reiterating the CFO.

Speaking of the educational sector, and therefore indirectly also of the eMac, Anderson remained more vague, claiming that June represents the month of purchases in the educational field and that therefore it is not prudent to make estimates before the end of the month. "We will talk about this at our quarterly presentation conference"

Regarding warehouse stocks, Apple said it was confident that it could be kept under control. "There are no variations on the levels we had in March," said Anderson. The rumors that the stock level was rising, one of the most feared bogeymen in IT, are thus denied.

Anderson ended his meeting with some positive notes at the end of his lecture.

The "Switch" campaign started well. There has been an increase in traffic on the Apple.com site and in some stores customers are introducing who want to switch from Windows to Mac just following what is recommended by the advertising. Anderson then cited some market surveys according to which Apple had gained 0.4% of market share in the US and 0.3% outside America during the month of March.

Optimism also came from Jobs who in a written statement made it known that the company remains very confident for the rest of the year: "we have some incredible products under development – said the CEO – and therefore we have high hopes for the future. We are one of the few companies that currently manage to produce profits in the PC world and we remain optimistic for long-term growth "