Apple Posts Rare Q3 Miss, $35B Revenue, $8.8B Profit

Apple reported a rare miss for the June quarter on Tuesday. The company turned in revenue of $35 billion for its third fiscal quarter and Earnings of $8.8 billion, with earnings per share EPS of $9.32. While up from the prior year, Wall Street consensus numbers—which are usually conservative—had been pegged at $37.2 billion in revenue and and $10.35 in EPS.

Apple sold 26 million iPhones, well below the 29 million consensus number. On the other hand, Apple sold some 17 million iPads, well above the 15 million consensus number for Apple’s tablet.

“We’re thrilled with record sales of 17 million iPads in the June quarter,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “We’ve also just updated the entire MacBook line, will release Mountain Lion tomorrow and will be launching iOS 6 this Fall. We are also really looking forward to the amazing new products we’ve got in the pipeline.”

Apple also sold 4 million Macs during the quarter, slightly below the high end of expectations, which was 4.3 million units. Apple’s Mac sales represent 2 percent year-over-year growth in a industry that has seen flat growth for much of the last year.

Apple is also still selling iPods. The company reported sales of 6.8 million iPods during the June quarter, which represents a 10 percent decline from the year-ago-quarter, but still represents a solid result for the mature product line.

Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer used the company’s earnings announcement to officially declare a dividend of $2.65 per share. The company announced its plan to do so earlier in 2012, but today’s announcement marks the beginning of the dividend.

Mr. Oppenheimer offered very conservative guidance for the September quarter of $34 billion in revenue and EPS of $7.65. That’s well below Sterne Agee’s model of $37.2 billion in revenue and EPS of $10.49 and Wall Street’s consensus number of $38 billion in revenue and EPS of $10.22. Sterne Agee’s Shaw Wu warned his clients on Monday to expect very conservative guidance from Apple.

Apple’s stock was hammered in after hours trading—as of this writing, shares of AAPL were trading at $570.00, down $30.92 (-5.15%).

*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a tiny, almost insignificant share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.