Your Cheat Sheet to Apple’s 3rd Quarter Earnings Report

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), this market’s leading bull stock is set to report after the bell on Tuesday, July 20th.  Analysts are anticipating $3.10 earnings per share on revenues of $14.7 billion.  As is typical with Apple, just about everyone expects a beat on account of stellar early sales results from the iPad and the iphone 4, which contributed nicely during the 3rd quarter of this year.

In its first two months, the Apple iPad sold over 2 million units!  Over at Business Insider, they are projecting that iPad revenues alone could reach above $1.6 billion for the second quarter.  Those figures alone would account for a 20% boost above the $8.34 billion in revenue reported in the same quarter a year ago. While many analysts had expected the iPad to cut into Mac sales, apparently the numbers indicate otherwise.  Mac sales are projected to be strong, and there are signs that the trend in the corporate space is turning increasingly favorable towards Apple.  As enterprise software shifts from the computer itself to the web, there are far fewer limitations for a business to run an Apple computer than at any point in the past.

Also during the quarter, Apple released the iPhone 4 to great long lines and eager consumers to the tune of 1.7 million sales in the first three days alone.  Despite the subsequent antenna-gate, iPhone 4 won’t play too big a role in 3rd quarter earnings, as it was released while the quarter was drawing to a close.  The latest iPhone will however play a big role in Apple’s forecast for the third quarter, and should provide some insight into any possible negative consequences to the bottom line from “Antenna-gate.”  Although those in financial circles have expressed concern about the consequences of “Antenna-gate” consumers thus far seem unfazed.

As always with Apple, traders and investors alike expect an earnings beat.  Everyone will be far more focused on the forward guidance than they will with how the quarter actually turned out.  And as always with Apple, when it comes to guidance, traders and investors alike expect a low ball number that will setup an easy beat.

Heading into earnings, Apple is sitting just above its recent support at the $240 level and as such, this particular earnings and guidance cycle will be a major catalyst for Apple’s next move.

Apple is sitting just above support as it heads into earnings.

Disclosure: No position.

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