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On the surface, it would appear that Apple had an excellent fourth quarter: the company reported a profit of $13.1 billion and sold record-high numbers of iPads and iPhones. However, because the company failed to meet Wall Street's expectations for blistering growth, the company's stock price fell sharply after Apple released its quarterly financials.
Nick Wingfield from The New York Times reported, "Apple on Wednesday reported the kind of quarter most big companies would envy, posting a profit of $13.1 billion and selling 28 percent more iPhones and 48 percent more iPads, its two biggest products. What is going on? Because of its great success in recent years, many investors have come to expect nothing short of perfection from Apple."
InformationWeek's Eric Zeman added, "Among the highlights were sales of Apple's iOS devices. Apple sold 47.8 million iPhones, up significantly from last year's 37 million. Sales of the iPad also jumped, from 15.4 million in last year's quarter to 22.9 million in this year's. Apple sold a total of 75 million iOS devices during the quarter. That breaks down to about 833,000 per day, or about 10 every second."
The Wall Street Journal's Ian Sherr noted, "Spooked investors erased nearly $47 billion from the company's stock-market value in after-hours trading, about as much as the combined worth of Dell Inc., Nokia Corp. and Research In Motion Ltd."
Wired's Christina Bonnington observed, "Investors may have cringed at Apple’s revenue numbers in its Q1 2013 earnings call, but CEO Tim Cook took pains to point out that there is still a lot of room for growth when it comes to Apple product sales and profits." She quoted Cook, who said, "It is clear [the iPad] is already cannibalizing [Windows] some. There’s a tremendous amount (of) opportunity there. I’ve said for two or three years now that the tablet market will be larger than the PC market at some point. You can see by the growth in tablets and pressure on PCs that those lines are beginning to converge."