Apple reports lower-than-expected rise in Q3 profits

Apple made a net profit of $8.8bn (£5.7bn) in the three months ending in June, up 21% from a year earlier but lower than forecasts. Strong iPad sales failed to offset disappointing sales of iPhones in the three months to 30th June.

The consumer gadget and computer maker reported $35bn in sales, up from $28.6bn in 2011. But sales of its iPod digital music player fell 10% while Mac computer sales flatlined, up just 2%. It will pay shareholders a rare dividend of $2.65 per share on 16th August.

Apple, the world’s most valuable company, sold 26 million iPhones, a rise of 28%; but slower growth than many analysts had forecast. By contrast, sales of Apple’s tablet computer, the iPad, rose 84% from the same period last year.

Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said: “We’re thrilled with record sales of 17 million iPads in the June quarter.”

But David Rolfe of Wedgewood Partners said: “What is key is the mixture between iPhone and iPad, the iPhone has higher margins. iPhone sales were lower than expected – meaningfully lower – and that translates into a big hit on the bottom line.”

Analysts had forecast third-quarter revenue of $37.2bn, according to a Thomson Reuters poll. Apple’s forecast for sales in the fourth quarter – the three months ending in September – was still lower at $34bn, which disappointed investors.

Apple shares fell nearly 5% in after-hours trading.


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