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updated: 10/26/2012 7:09 AM

Apple misses Wall Street 4Q expectations

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  • Employees cheer customers as they enter a newly-opened Apple Store in Wangfujing shopping district in Beijing.

      Employees cheer customers as they enter a newly-opened Apple Store in Wangfujing shopping district in Beijing.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Apple missed Wall Street earnings expectations for the second straight quarter, as iPad sales fell short of analyst forecasts.

The slowdown in the growth of iPad sales was not unexpected, as the rumor mill correctly predicted that Apple Inc. would launch a smaller, cheaper iPad. It announced that device, the iPad Mini, on Tuesday.

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Sales were also hurt by slowing growth in China. Apple's sales in China more than doubled in fiscal 2010 and in 2011. Growth in the July- September quarter was also slow in economically troubled Europe.

Net income in the fiscal fourth quarter was $8.2 billion, or $8.67 per share. That was up 24 percent from $6.6 billion, or $7.05 per share, a year ago.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting earnings of $8.84 per share.

Revenue was $36 billion, up 27 percent from a year ago. Analysts were expecting $35.8 billion.

The Cupertino, Calif., company sold 26.9 million iPhones in the quarter, at the high end of expectations, and 14 million iPads.

Apple shares fell $6.33, or 1 percent, to $603.47, extending a downward trend for the stock, which hit an all-time high of $705.07 a month ago, on the day the iPhone 5 went on sale in the U.S. and eight countries.

Apple said it expects earnings of $11.75 per share and sales of $52 billion in the current quarter, usually the year's strongest. The sales forecast is in line with analyst expectations of $56 billion, considering that Apple routinely lowballs its forecasts. However, the earnings forecast is so far below analyst expectations at $15.59 that it "makes no sense," according to Brian White at Topeka Capital Markets.

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