Apple Earnings Fall Short of Bullish Hopes

Apple’s ugly start to 2013 isn’t getting any prettier. That much was clear Wednesday, as shares of AAPL plummeted in after-hours trading following a less-than rousing holiday quarter earnings report from the Cupertino, California-based tech giant.

Falling more than 7% in after hours trading, Apple showed earnings of $13.1 billion on sales of 47.8 million iPhones, 22.9 million iPads and 4.1 million Macs.

Analysts, according to CNBC, “had expected the company to report earnings excluding items of $13.47 a share on $54.73 billion in revenue.”

Although 47.8 million iPhone sales represent a new quarterly record for Apple (Apple sold 37 million iPhones in the same quarter of 2011), some Wall Street bulls were anticipating better than 50 million iPhone sales.

“We’re thrilled with record revenue of over $54 billion and sales of over 75 million iOS devices in a single quarter,” said CEO Tim Cook. “We’re very confident in our product pipeline as we continue to focus on innovation and making the best products in the world.”

“We’re pleased to have generated over $23 billion in cash flow from operations during the quarter,” added CFO Peter Oppenheimer. “We established new all-time quarterly records for iPhone and iPad sales, significantly broadened our ecosystem, and generated Apple’s highest quarterly revenue ever.”

Despite the optimism expressed by Apple executives today, it’s unlikely today’s report will light a fire under shares of AAPL, which appear poised to finish the week on a rough note after today’s uninspiring earnings news.