But it was the company's guidance that curbed that would have otherwise been a good quarter. Apple is known to under-promise and over-deliver. For the first quarter of fiscal 2013, the company expects to earn $11.75 per share on revenue of $52 billion. Also disappointing analysts was Apple's margin projections, which arrived much lower than expected. This comes after margins already slipped by 20 basis points in the most recent quarter. But I can't fault the company for running its business as it sees fit and not succumbing to stock price pressures or Wall Street's expectations.
Overall, this was a good quarter for Apple, which, despite its miss, continued to demonstrate excellent growth. It's worth noting Google, Microsoft and Amazon all failed to meet earnings expectations as well. But none have become victims of their own success to the extent Apple has. Consequently, "cannibalization" continues to be the buzzword whenever Apple has fallen short of expectations. This has become the most predictable pattern in the entire market. But it goes with the territory of Apple having become the top consumer brand in the world. This time it was the iPhone 5 and the highly anticipated release of the iPad mini. It seems if some investors had their way, the company would slow down its refresh cycle and price its product releases more "appropriately." Even more remarkable is the idea that some investors would prefer the company suppress its innovative prowess and stop releasing new products altogether. In other words, execute and make decisions to suit the stock. However, these same investors forget that Apple's stock price has followed the fundamentals of its underlying business. This is the same business that current management has been executing to perfection -- propelling Apple to the most valuable company in the world. There has been no other company that has come close to the level of execution of Apple, which has averaged 35% earnings and revenue growth over the past decade.