Despite record profits, Apple disappoints Wall Street

Despite record profits, Apple disappoints Wall StreetWashington, Oct 19 - Despite setting new sales and profit records over the last three months and blowing past the $100 billion mark Apple's revenue and earnings on the last quarter fell far short of Wall Street's forecasts.

With an all-time record sale of Macs and iPads, Apple said Tuesday its net income for the quarter rose to $6.6 billion, or $7.05 per share, up 54 percent from a year earlier, but lower than $7.39 per share forecast by analysts.

As those numbers disappointed investors expecting more, shares of Apple fell 7 percent after hours. At the market's close Tuesday, the stock had finished regular trading at an all-time high of $422.24.

Apple's sales rose 39 percent to $28.3 billion, but badly missed analysts' estimates of $29.7 billion. The company's sales for its full fiscal year, which ended Sep 24, were $108.2 billion - a giant leap ahead of the $65.2 billion Apple raked in last year, but short of the $109.5 billion Wall Street forecast.

Nevertheless Apple again edged out Exxon Mobil in the tight race to be the stock market's most valuable company in the world, CNN reported.

Despite missing analysts' estimates, Apple's executives remained positive. "We are thrilled with the very strong finish of an outstanding fiscal 2011," Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, said in a statement.

"Customer response to iPhone 4S has been fantastic, we have strong momentum going into the holiday season, and we remain really enthusiastic about our product pipeline."

On a conference call with analysts, Cook said he's confident Apple will set an all-time record for iPhones this quarter, calling demand "off the charts". Cook noted that the number of people using the new device's Siri personal assistant feature has been "amazing". (IANS)