Apple Guides Lower for Q2 2012, but with Reasons

Apple offers lower guidance than expected for Q2 2012Apple is offering lower guidance than expected for its second fiscal quarter of 2012, which raised questions from analysts during the company’s first fiscal quarter earnings report on Tuesday. CFO Peter Oppenheimer, however, was ready and offered up a list of reasons why Apple’s second quarter guidance isn’t as aggressive as anticipated.

Mr. Oppenheimer said Apple is expecting revenue for its second fiscal quarter to hit US$32.5 billion, which is still up substantially from the $24.7 billion the company brought in during the same quarter last year. Gross margins are expected to be about 42 percent, and operating expenses are projected at $3.05 billion.

Mr. Oppenheimer’s reasons for the second quarter guidance figures:

  • The December quarter, or first fiscal quarter of 2012, included a 14th week this year between Christmas and the new year. Quarters usually include only 13 weeks.
  • The previous 14 week quarter landed in March last year, which Mr. Oppenheimer said was a “big quarter.”
  • iPhone channel inventory jumped up by 1.7 million units during the March quarter last year, giving the quarter a nice boost Apple won’t likely have this year.
  • The recent iPhone 4S launch gave the December quarter a nice boost, and pent up demand from consumers waiting for the new iPhone model to launch has been addressed.
  • The U.S. dollar is stronger compared to the Euro than it has been, and that will have an impact on sequential comparisons.

Apple reported record breaking numbers yet again during its fist fiscal quarter earnings conference call. The company reported US$46.33 billion in revenue, and profits at $13.06 billion, or $13.87 per diluted share.

Mac sales climbed 26 percent compared to the same quarter last year to 5.2 million units, continuing the company’s upward trend in PC sales while the rest of the market is in decline. iPhone sales shot up 128 percent with 37.04 million units sold, and iPad sales hit 15.43 million units, up 111 percent.

The company has $97.6 billion in cash, but isn’t saying what plans it has for the money. “We’re not letting it burn a hole in our pockets,” Mr. Oppenheimer said.

Apple is currently trading after hours at $453.90, up 33.49 (7.79%).