updated 08:12 am EDT, Mon April 22, 2013
First slump in Apple profit for a decade predicted on back of record sales
Apple shares have plunged below $400 on the back of poll of 48 analysts which indicates that the company is set to announce record sales, but a slump in profits for the first time in 10 years, reports CNET. At the time of writing, Apple's stock was trading at $390, down over 44 percent from its record high of $702.11 reached some seven months ago. Although Apple is expected to report the strongest second quarter sales in its history, a sharp decline of around 10 percent in gross margins is expected to take the shine of the company's result.
Analysts are expecting Apple to have sold up to 35 million iPhones during the months of January, February and March along with up to 17 million iPads. Mac sales are expected to bounce back up to over 4 million units after the redesigned thin profile iMac became more widely available during the quarter. However, a year ago, Apple's gross margin on these products averaged around 47.4 percent, while the company's forecast during January's conference call was that this will be much lower at 37.5 percent at the low end and 38.5 percent at the high end.
Apple has had a long period between its last round of new product announcements in October. Since then, the only product to get a refresh was the MacBook Pro with Retina displays, which also received a price cut. Its next major round of major product announcements is not expected until June or July at the earliest when it is thought that the iPhone 5S may debut. The long-neglected Mac Pro is thought to be in line for a refresh sooner, but it is not a volume seller for the iPhone maker.