As 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.