Apple misses Wall Street 4Q expectations

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“I suppose you could design a car that flies and floats, but I don’t think it would do all of those things very well,” Cook said.

For the just-ended quarter, Apple missed Wall Street earnings expectations as iPad sales fell short of analyst forecasts.

The slowdown in the growth of iPad sales was not completely unexpected, as the rumor mill correctly predicted that Apple would launch the iPad Mini. Cook said there’s usually a slowdown in the September-ending quarter, and the 14 million iPads sold exceeded Apple’s forecast. Analysts, however, had been expecting 17 million to 18 million.

Sales were also hurt by slowing growth in China. Apple’s sales in China more than doubled in fiscal 2010 and in 2011. Growth in the July- September quarter was also slow in economically troubled Europe.

Net income in the fiscal fourth quarter was $8.2 billion, or $8.67 per share. That was up 24 percent from $6.6 billion, or $7.05 per share, a year ago.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting earnings of $8.84 per share.

Revenue was $36 billion, up 27 percent from a year ago. Analysts were expecting $35.8 billion.

The Cupertino, Calif., company sold 26.9 million iPhones in the quarter, at the high end of expectations. The launch of iPhone 5 came late in the quarter and didn’t move the needle much.

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