Tech wrap: Apple earnings lay waste to expectations

January 24, 2012

Apple’s fiscal first-quarter results blew past Wall Street expectations, fueled by robust holiday sales of its iPhones and iPads. Apple sold 37.04 million iPhones and 15.43 million iPad tablets, outpacing already heightened expectations for a strong holiday season. Sales of iPhones and iPads more than doubled from a year ago. Revenue leapt 73 percent to $46.33 billion, handily beating the average Wall Street analyst estimate of $38.91 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Apple reported a net profit of $13.06 billion, or $13.87 a share. Analysts had expected Apple to earn $10.16 per share.

“This is all about innovation, you have to out-innovate and delight the customer. Apple is the only company that knows how to do that. The guidance is phenomenal,” said Trip Chowdry at Global Equities Research.

Yahoo’s net revenue and profit fell slightly in the fourth quarter, the struggling Internet company’s last quarter before new Chief Executive Scott Thompson took the reins. Yahoo said it earned $296 million in net income in the three months ended Dec. 31, or 24 cents a share, compared with $312 million, or 24 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Yahoo, which fired former CEO Carol Bartz in September and appointed Thompson in January, projected that its net revenue in the first quarter would range between $1.025 billion and $1.105 billion.

A Dutch appeals court dismissed Apple’s appeal to have Samsung tablets banned in the Netherlands, confirming a Dutch lower court’s ruling. Apple and Samsung have been suing one another as the two technology giants jostle for the top spot in the booming smartphone and tablet markets.

Verizon may miss analyst expectations for 2012 earnings after posting disappointing fourth quarter results as it was hurt by hefty subsidies for the Apple’s iPhone. The company reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $2.02 billion, or 71 cents per share, compared with a profit of $2.64 billion, or 93 cents a share, a year earlier.

About one in five workers around the globe, particularly employees in the Middle East, Latin America and Asia, telecommute frequently and nearly 10 percent work from home every day, according to a new Ipsos/Reuters poll. Telecommuting is particularly popular in India where more than half of workers were most likely to be toiling from home, followed by 34 percent in Indonesia, 30 percent in Mexico and slightly less in Argentina, South Africa and Turkey. But the job option is the least popular in Hungary, Germany, Sweden, France, Italy and Canada, where less than 10 percent of people work from home.  Despite the obvious benefits of telecommuting, 62 percent of people said they found it socially isolating and half thought that the daily lack of face-to-face contact could harm their chances of a promotion.

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