Closer Look: What Do Apple’s 1Q Numbers Mean?

apple-logoApple (NASDAQ:AAPL) released its first-quarter fiscal 2013 results after the bell on Wednesday, and the bad news bears came running. Shares dropped as much as 10.5 percent in after-hours trading to $460.00 as expectations collided with reality, resulting in disappointment.

Speculation always moves a stock, and this quarter brewed a perfect storm of confusion around Apple. Analysts openly disagreed on how much the stock was worth and dubious reports alternatively suggested that Apple was facing production issues or drowning in demand.

At the end of the day, Apple logged a 17.7 percent year-over-year revenue increase to $54.51 billion. Apple’s first quarter includes the holiday shopping season, so a 51.6 percent quarter-to-quarter sales increase is impressive, but artificially inflated. Earnings came in at $13.81 per share, beating average estimates by about 35 cents, and coming in well ahead of the company’s own guidance of $11.75.

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The stock’s killer seems to be that expectations were overall inaccurate. Considerable growth in a rapidly-changing, highly-competitive industry was overshadowed by enormous confusion. So, in order to lift the veil a bit, we took a look at Apple’s sales performance last quarter, sans analyst clout. Here are the numbers, broken down…

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