Reuters reports that Banc of America Securities has lowered its 2003 earnings per share estimate on Apple. The news follows Apple’s report of a US$45 million loss during its fourth quarter conference call with analysts after the market closed on Wednesday.
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Although Apple CFO Fred Anderson anticipates that the company will report a small profit and an incremental increase in revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2003, analyst Joel Wagonfeld said these projects are “well below” what Banc of America Securities had expected. The company lowered its first quarter earnings per share (EPS) estimate to 2 cents on revenues of $1.5 billion, with fiscal year EPS estimated at 23 to 38 cents. Its revenue forecast has also been revised downward, from $6.3 billion to $5.8 billion.
Wagonfeld admits it’s not all bad news — he’s among a number of analysts surprised by Apple’s better-than-expected retail store performance and strong iPod sales. Apple’s Anderson attributes the strong retail store showing to further refinement of the sales culture at Apple’s retail stores, including an emphasis at “beyond the box” sales opportunities like software and peripherals.
Apple’s stock was $14.01 in mid-day trading, off 0.55 for the day.