The broad indexes ended mixed, after the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that its "advance estimate" showed that the U.S. gross domestic product grew during the third quarter at an annualized pace over the second quarter. This was quite an increase from a "real GDP" growth rate of 1.3% the previous quarter. The Bureau "emphasized that the third-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency," and said that its second estimate of third-quarter sequential GDP growth would be released on Nov. 29, and would be "based on more complete data."
While there's no question that the company is an earnings powerhouse, and that its shares do not appear overvalued at 12 times the consensus fiscal 2013 earnings estimate of $50.62, there was some disappointment after Apple (APPL) late on Thursday reported earnings of $8.2 billion, or $8.67 a share, for its fiscal fourth quarter ended Sep. 29, which came in below the Zacks consensus estimate of $8.85.
Apple's fiscal fourth-quarter revenue of $36.0 billion was slightly ahead of the consensus estimate of $35.8 billion.Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said the company was "pleased to have generated over $41 billion in net income and over $50 billion in operating cash flow in fiscal 2012," and provided guidance, saying "we expect revenue of about $52 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $11.75," for the company's first quarter of fiscal 2013, which would be a significant increase revenue increase from $46.3 billion in the first quarter of Fiscal 2012, but a 15% decline in earnings EPS from $13.87. During Apple's earnings conference call, Oppenheimer said he expected the company's gross margin next quarter "to be about 36%, reflecting approximately $90 million related to stock-based compensation expense," and declining from a gross margin of 40% in the most recent quarter, and 44.7% from the first quarter of Fiscal 2012.
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