Apple to report holiday quarter earnings on January 29 without divulging iPhone unit sales

Following Tim Cook’s unexpectedly long and detailed open letter to investors in which he revised Apple’s projected earnings for the lucrative holiday quarter, the company said today it will be holding a conferences call with Wall Street investors and analysts to discuss the latest quarterly earnings on Tuesday, January 29, at 2:00pm PT / 5:00pm ET.

Anyone can tune in to the conference call webcast at Apple’s website.

The webcast requires an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with Safari on iOS 10 or later; a Mac with Safari on macOS Sierra 10.12 or later; or a PC with Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge.

Streaming to Apple TV via Apple’s AirPlay technology requires a second-generation Apple TV or later with the latest Apple TV or tvOS software. Users on non-Apple platforms may access the stream using recent versions of Chrome or Firefox (requires MSE, H.264 and AAC support).

Apple usually issues a press release announcing quarterly earnings half an hour before markets close but we already know the report will exclude iPhone, iPad and Mac unit sales. The Cupertino technology firm surprised investors during the previous quarterly earnings call by saying it would stop reporting those unit sales going forward for competitive reasons.

In case you missed yesterday’s news, the iPhone maker spooked investors by cutting revenue guidance for the lucrative holiday quarter season by about eight percent, which works out to a whopping $7 billion. Tim Cook’s shock sales warning attributes the projected revenue miss to headwinds in China, foreign exchange rates, lack of carrier subsidies, US-China tensions and the $29 iPhone battery replacement program that ended on December 31, 2018.

Here’s the before vs. after comparison.

Apple’s December 2018 quarter guidance before yesterday’s revision:

  • Revenue: $89 billion—$93 billion
  • Gross margin: 38 percent—38.5 percent
  • Operating expenses: $8.7 billion—$8.8 billion
  • Other income and expense: $300 million
  • Tax rate: 16.5 percent before discrete items

Apple’s December 2018 quarter guidance after the revision:

  • Revenue: $84 billion
  • Gross margin: 38 percent
  • Operating expenses: $8.7 billion
  • Other income and expense: $550 million
  • Tax rate: 16.5 percent before discrete items

As you can see for yourself, nearly all of the items in the adjusted guidance are exactly the same or very slightly off versus before, with one key exception—revenue. Decreasing guidance by as much as $7 billion is a serious and huge miss no matter how you look at it.

The last time Apple issued an earnings warning like this was back in June 2002.