SAN FRANCISCO—Apple Inc.'s stock price declined nearly 10 percent in after hours trading Wednesday (Jan. 23) after the firm projected sales would decline by more than 20 percent sequentially in the current quarter.
Apple (Cupertino, Calif.) reported its highest ever quarterly sales, $54.5 billion, for the quarter ended Dec. 29. Even so, sales were slightly below consensus analysts' expectations.
"No technology company has ever reported these kind of results," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, in a conference call with analysts following the financial report. "Apple is in one of the most prolific periods of innovation in new products in its history."
But Apple's stock price sank to $463.49 in after hours trading after closing at $514.01 earlier in the day, prior to the quarterly report.
Apple sold a record 47.8 million iPhones in the quarter, up 78 percent from the previous quarter and up 30 percent from the year-ago quarter. The company sold 22.9 million iPads, up from 15.4 million in the year-ago quarter. Mac sales declined to 4.1 million, down from 5.2 million in the year ago quarter, while iPod sales declined to 12.7 million compared to 15.4 million in the year-ago quarter, Apple said.
Paul McWilliams, editor of technology investment newsletter Next Inning Technology Research, was disappointed by Apple's quarterly report and the presentation by executives that followed. In a report circulated late Wednesday, McWilliams said he planned to sell his Apple shares in the near future after being "an Apple bull" for nearly 10 years.
"Apple was built on vision, innovation and a near perfect execution of design that delivered products that redefined some markets, and in other cases (many other cases) created entirely new markets," McWilliams wrote. "Today I view Apple as a huge ship that lacks not only a rudder, but also the forward vision needed to set the direction of the rudder."