Wrong Number: Apple Disappoints Market Amid Sluggish iPhone Sales

A spike in iPad sales wasn’t enough to offset slower iPhone sales, as Apple Inc. reported Tuesday lower-than-expected third-quarter revenues, sending its stock lower.

The company announced third-quarter revenue of $35 billion, or $9.32 per share, lower than the $37.22 billion, or 10.37 per share, that Bloomberg had estimated.

It’s only the second time since 2003 that Apple’s profit and sales failed to meet projections, Bloomberg reported.

Apple said its quarterly net profit rose to $8.8 billion, or $9.32 per share, compared to a net profit of $7.3 billion, or $7.79 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Its revenue in that quarter was $28.6 billion.

The numbers were blamed on sluggish sales of the iPhone, Apple’s No. 1 revenue source. The company sold 26 million iPhones; analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected sales of 28.4 million units.

Customers, anticipating a new model of the iPhone, appeared to be holding off buying the existing model.

“Every quarter that Apple isn’t launching a new iPhone it’s a transition quarter,” Brian Marshall, an analyst at ISI Group, told Bloomberg. “That’s the key product that matters.”

Sales of the iPad tablet, meanwhile, spiked. Apple sold 17 million iPads, compared to the 15.4 million expected.

Bloomberg also reported:

“Looking ahead to the current quarter, Apple forecast revenue of about $34 billion and profit of $7.65 a share. That compares with predictions by analysts for sales of $38 billion and profit of $10.27 a share.”

Reuters reported that Apple’s shares fell 4.8 percent to $572.12 in extended-hours trading.

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