Tech wrap: Apple misses, Intel beats quarterly expectations

October 18, 2011

Apple reported a rare miss in quarterly revenue after sales of its flagship iPhone fell well short of Wall Street expectations. The September quarterly report was Apple’s first under new CEO Tim Cook, who took over in August after co-founder Steve Jobs resigned. The company reported a net profit of $6.62 billion, or $7.05 a share. That fell shy of expectations for earnings of $7.39 per share.

One analyst blamed lofty expectations for the miss. “The reality is their business is not an annuity. They have to sell their quarter’s worth of revenue every 90 days. They had a big upgrade cycle with the iPhone, the numbers came in weak. They need to set records every time they report to keep the momentum”, said Colin Gillis at BGC Partners.

Intel forecast quarterly revenue above expectations, defying concerns that the growing popularity of tablets and a shaky economy are eating into demand for personal computers. Intel said revenue in the current quarter would be $14.7 billion, plus or minus $500 million. Analysts on average had expected current-quarter revenue of $14.23 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Intel’s processors are used in 80 percent of the world’s PCs but the company has failed to gain traction in mobile gadgets like Apple’s iPad and Google’s Android smartphones. It also increasingly depends on China and other emerging markets to make up for weak sales in the U.S. and Europe.

Yahoo’s net revenue and profit slipped in the third quarter, as the Internet company struggled to revive its online advertising business. Yahoo’s net revenue — which excludes fees paid to partner websites — was $1.07 billion, compared with $1.12 billion at this time last year, and in line with Wall Street expectations.

RIM said it will introduce souped-up operating software for its BlackBerry smartphone and PlayBook tablet designed to make both more formidable competitors to Apple and Google devices. RIM, which made the announcement at a developers conference in San Francisco, said it would install its new BBX platform in next-generation devices but provided no timetable.

Apple plans to shutter U.S. retail stores for several hours on Wednesday so employees can take part in a company-wide celebration of co-founder Steve Jobs’ life, a person familiar with the celebration said. Store employees in the U.S. will use that time to view a live broadcast of the event, which is being held at an outdoor amphitheater at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino. The celebration — which will be held from 10 a.m. PT to 11:30 a.m. PT — follows a private memorial service for the late tech visionary at Stanford University attended by Silicon Valley luminaries, politicians and celebrities.

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