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Apple (AAPL) Misses Q2 Earnings, Revs on Weaker iPhone Sales

After the bell Tuesday, tech bellwether Apple Inc. (AAPL) reported fiscal Q2 2016 earnings, and the company posted its first earnings miss in at least the past 5 quarters. Earnings of $1.90 per share missed the $1.97 Zacks consensus estimate, and revenues of $50.6 billion were short of the $51.5 billion expected in the Zacks consensus.

Sales of Apple's principle driver, the iPhone, were weaker than expected -- 51.2 million iPhones were sold in Q2, where 51.5 million had been expected. This represents a fall of 16 percent year over year. iPad sales, on the other hand, were up in the quarter: 10.3 million beat the expected 9.9 million. Mac sales continued to dwindle, selling 4.0 million as opposed to the 4.6 million expected.

Part of this miss is a result of very tough year-over-year comps -- the iPhone 6 was a huge hit back when it first came out, and version 7 is not expected until later this year. But sales in China were also down 26 percent in the quarter, which may speak to any number of things: a sluggish Chinese economy, relative market saturation of iPhones, a stronger dollar keeping iPhones more expensive, etc. Yet CEO Tim Cook said, "We feel good about China" in Apple's press release as earnings were posted.

Apple had been carrying a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) ahead of the earnings report, but with a somewhat downward bias: several downward revisions for Q2, Q3, fiscal 2016 and 2017 have pulled down estimates over the past 60 days. We may see further revisions to the lower side from analysts in the coming days as they digest Apple's earnings results.

The company also bought back $50 billion in AAPL stock and raised its dividend 10 percent. This, however, has not been enough to keep shares tumbling more than 6 percent in the after-market, and this follows -5 percent over the last 5 regular trading days and -20 percent year over year.
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