Apple Blames Europe, Speculation for Third-Quarter Miss

Updated from 4:55 p.m. EST to provide executive comments from the conference call in the fifth paragraph, and analyst comments in the sixth and ninth paragraphs.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Apple ( AAPL) fell in late trades Tuesday after the iconic gadget maker missed Wall Street's expectations for its fiscal third-quarter results on both the top and bottom lines and gave weak guidance.

The stock was last quoted at $570, down 5.2%, on after-hours volume of nearly 4.2 million, according to Nasdaq.com.

After blowing past consensus views last quarter, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company reported earnings of $9.32 per share on revenue of $35.02 billion for the three months ended in June. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting a profit of $10.37 per share on revenue of $37.18 billion.

"We're thrilled with record sales of 17 million iPads in the June quarter," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We've also just updated the entire MacBook line, will release Mountain Lion tomorrow and will be launching iOS 6 this Fall. We are also really looking forward to the amazing new products we've got in the pipeline."

CFO Peter Oppenheimer cited several reasons during the earnings call for the revenue and earnings miss, including economic weakness in Europe, Australia, Canada, and Brazil. He also said consumer speculation about new products was delaying some purchasing and that a delay with Intel's ( INTC) Ivy Bridge chips hurt Mac sales in April and May.

Oppenheimer also noted a later portable lineup refresh this year, as well as continued strength in the U.S. dollar, which impacted revenues by over $200 million, net of hedges.

Bill Kreher, technology analyst at Edward Jones, said Apple is not immune to the global economy. "It appears that even Apple is susceptible to weakness, particularly in Europe," Kreher said in a phone interview with TheStreet.

The company also gave some specifics on its planned quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share, saying it's payable on Aug. 16 to shareholders of record on Aug. 13.

Apple's outlook was a letdown as well. "Looking ahead to the fourth fiscal quarter, we expect revenue of about $34 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $7.65," said Oppenheimer in a statement.

That view is below the current consensus expectations for earnings of $10.23 per share on revenue of $38.03 billion in the September-ending period. Kreher of Edward Jones attributed the weaker guidance "to a pause ahead of an iPhone 5 launch in October."

Apple shares closed Tuesday's regular session at $600.92, down nearly 3% on the day. Based on its closing price, the stock was up more than 45% so far in 2012 but it had pulled back since hitting an all-time high of $644 on April 10.

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-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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