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Analyst Blog

Apple Inc. (AAPL - Analyst Report) reported earnings after the bell Tuesday, and unlike the reports of a couple years ago when Apple would typically blow the doors off expectations, things seem to have come in mixed, but in-line overall. Yes, the $10.09 actual earnings per share is down a tad from the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $10.18, but revenues of $43.6 billion in the quarter beat our top-line estimate by $2 billion.

Shares had been climbing in regular trading prior to the earnings announcement today, getting back above $400 per share. It's actually up over 5% in the after-market as well, despite lukewarm guidance for the June quarter. Its gross margin of 37.5% was also on the low-end of the range, and far below the astonishing 47% of a year ago.

This is still Apple, after all -- not Joe's Tech Co. And though this does constitute Apple's third negative earnings surprise in the past 4 quarters, the company did bump up its dividend, greater China is providing an impressive boost to Apple's overall revenues ($8.2B), and the company is, of course, sitting on a gigantic mound of cash ($12.5B in this quarter alone!).

Analysts, though, had been quite down on Apple over the past 60 days, with 13 of the 24 estimates in its fiscal 2nd quarter of 2013 having been downwardly revised, and 3 more in just the past week alone. That there were some upward revisions for fiscal 2013 and 2014 managed to keep Apple with a Zacks Rank #3 at this time.

We will give a more in-depth report about the breakdown of Apple's products and a look at CEO Tim Cook's comments later on, but for now it looks like Apple won't be seeing $700 per share numbers until they can get some traction on new, exciting products and timelines for their launches.

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