Apple Inc. reported quarterly iPhone sales that trailed analysts’ estimates, even after debuting new models for the holiday shopping season.
Profit was $13.1 billion, or $14.50 a share, for the fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 28, little changed from $13.1 billion, or $13.81 a share, a year earlier, Apple said in a statement Monday after the stock market closed. Sales rose 5.7 percent to $57.6 billion. Analysts had predicted profit of $14.07 a share on sales of $57.5 billion, according to the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
The holiday results indicate that demand may be ebbing for new iPhone models – Apple’s primary source of revenue – as competitors crowd in with new smartphone and tablet offerings. The numbers are highly anticipated by Apple’s investors because the end-of-year shopping season is usually the company’s most lucrative period. Apple said it sold 51 million iPhones, falling short of analysts’ estimates of 54.7 million handsets.
“There’s a perception problem that they aren’t innovating,” said Brian Blair, an analyst at Wedge Partners Corp. in New York. “That’s why new product announcements will be so critical this year.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook is under pressure to boost financial results that have stagnated without the introduction of an entirely new product since the iPad’s debut in 2010. In its last fiscal year, the company posted its first annual profit decline in at least a decade. Apple shares rose just 5.4 percent last year, trailing the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index’s 30 percent gain.
Apple fell as much as 6.4 percent in extended trading Monday.