Updated from 5:37 p.m. ET to include comments from the conference call.
NEW YORK (
) -- Shares of
(AAPL - Get Report)
were slipping late Thursday after the iconic tech company delivered a below-consensus quarterly profit but beat Wall Street expectations on the top line.
For the three months ended Sept. 30, Apple reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $8.2 billion, or $8.67 per share, on revenue of $36 billion, up from a year-ago equivalent profit of $6.6 billion, or $7.05 a share, on revenue of $28.3 billion.
The average estimate of analysts polled by
was for earnings of $8.75 a share on revenue of $35.8 billion in the fourth quarter.
The company sold 26.9 million iPhones, 14 million iPads, 5.3 million iPods and 4.9 million Macs for the quarter. There were some concerns over iPhone sales this quarter, as supply constraints weighed heavily. IPad sales were light, as many on Wall Street were expecting around 15 million to 16 million iPads.
Apple CEO Tim Cook was positive on the end of the year, saying, "We're very proud to end a fantastic fiscal year with record September quarter results. We're entering this holiday season with the best iPhone, iPad, Mac and iPod products ever, and we remain very confident in our new product pipeline." On the earnings call, Cook noted that "demand is very robust" for the iPhone 5.
Cook demonstrated a much feistier tone on the conference call than in the past, defending the iPad mini price point, and taking shots at competitors. The CEO noted that he has not played with the
(MSFT - Get Report)
Surface tablet, but said he has heard that it's "a fairly comprised and confusing product."
"I suppose you could design a car that flies and floats, but I don't think it would do all those things very well," he added.
Cook called the iPad mini an "enormous incremental opportunity for us." He went on to say that he expects people to use the tablet for years to come. "One of the things we try to do is create products people will love for months and years after purchasing it. That's what iPad mini has been designed for."
Cook also took shots at the other 7-inch tablets on the market. "Let me be clear. We would not make one of the 7-inch tablets," he said. "We don't think they're good products."
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Barnes & Noble
(BKS - Get Report)
recently announced 7-inch tablets.
CFO Peter Oppenheimer defended the price point of the iPad mini, which starts at $329. "When we set out to build the iPad mini, we didn't set out to build a smaller cheap tablet. We set out to build the full iPad experience," he said.
Wall Street analysts are currently looking for $15.41 per share in earnings and $55 billion in revenue in the company's fiscal first quarter, which ends in December, encompassing the all-important holiday selling season. Apple said it expects first-quarter earnings of $11.75 per share on $52 billion in revenue.
Oppenheimer noted that he believes over 80% of Apple's first-quarter revenue will be from products launched in the past six weeks, including the iPhone 5, iPad mini, fourth-generation iPad and the
new Macs announced.
Shares of Apple closed the regular session lower, off 1.14% to wind up at $609.80. The stock was last quoted at $610.46, up 0.15%, on volume of 3.6 million, according to
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Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York