Oct. 28 - Apple reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and sales, and raised its holiday quarter outlook. But the tech giant still has doubters. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Apple investors are a tough crowd these days- the company's earnings beat forecasts- as did revenues. Apple sold more iPhones than ever for the September quarter- and iPad sales were up as well. Mac sales were better than expected. Apple raised their 4th quarter guidance. And even signaled a strong holiday season. But the stock reaction was one of indecision- it fell immediately after the report- only to regain ground later on. Alex Gauna covers Apple for JMP securities: SOUNDBITE: ALEX GAUNA, SENIOR RESEARCH ANALYST, JMP SECURITIES (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Well it was a healthy report and it was a good guide for the December quarter. The key questions now for investors that need to be answered is- will this momentum hold up and is Apple innovating enough." Margins are also a concern- they continue to fall, as do profits. But its cash pile remains strong at $147 billion- as does pressure from investors like Carl Icahn to boost its buybacks. Apple gave back 7.8 billion to investors though dividends and other means. And said on the call following the earnings release, it's not going to consider any new moves until the new year. Which is fine with Gauna: SOUNDBITE: ALEX GAUNA, SENIOR RESEARCH ANALYST, JMP SECURITIES (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I am not a fan of the Icahn proposal. I'd like to see the stock working because innovation is back, because Apple is coming out with wow types of products, wow types of breakthroughs in terms of new usage models. But we are not seeing that, so it does have a fortress balance sheet. I'd like to see it put to use being more innovative- things like Apple TV where they are fast ceding initiative to companies like Netflix to Amazon Prime that I mentioned. That should be an Apple market." Next up on the Apple watch: sales of the iPad Air and the iPhone 5S, and how they fare versus the competition this holiday season.