October 17, 2011 at 12:42 PM EDT
Expect Apple to Be Apple For Tuesday’s 4Q Earnings Report
Apple's likely to unleash a flurry of good financial news, but considering how much we already know, even an earnings beat might now move AAPL stock much.

Apple earningsAs usual, investors bid up the shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) ahead of its earnings report, which will be released after the market closes Tuesday. The stock price is up a sizzling 15% during the past five trading days.

Even though Steve Jobs usually did not participate in conference calls, there still will be a void Tuesday. No doubt, CEO Tim Cook will talk about his legacy as well as the go-forward strategy.

Regarding the expectations for the quarter, Wall Street analysts certainly are bullish — though at least one had the courage to buck groupthink on Monday and downgrade Apple from “buy” to “hold.” Still, the consensus is for revenues to hit $29.45 billion — up 44.8% from the same quarter in 2010.

That’s an amazing number, especially when compared to other tech giants like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) and relative youngster titan Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). But it’s no anomaly — in its latest quarter, Apple posted a 33% increase in revenues from the year-ago quarter.

As for Apple’s earnings, analysts are forecasting $7.24 per share, but Apple could beat this after strong boosts in iPad and iPhone sales, which have juicy margins. It looks like the death of Jobs — which was followed by a global outpouring of support and media exposure — has further spurred sales for Apple products.

Of course, Apple doesn’t need to rely on the sympathy vote. Apple’s next big thing — the iPhone 4S — hit store shelves Oct. 14 and has tallied 4 million sales in that short time. And the iPhone 4S is getting standout reviews, especially for its voice-activation technology, called Siri. Yet again, it looks like Apple has redefined the way people use mobile technology.


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