The numbers are in. Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) booked $9.32 a share in profits on $35.02 billion in revenue. Analysts were expecting $10.36 a share of profit on $37.18 billion in revenue, according to Yahoo! Finance.
Seeing those numbers has to be disheartening for investors who've endured lousy reports from the likes of Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) , which missed revenue estimates because of flagging PC market growth, and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) , which fell after reporting its first quarterly loss as a public company.
Apple, for its part, is taking advantage of the post-PC world as Wintel works on bringing a Windows 8 tablet to market. But at least this quarter, investors were hoping for much more in the way of iPad, iPhone, and Mac sales during fiscal Q3:
Sources: Fortune magazine, SEC filings, Apple press release.
Each figure is disappointing in its own way, though the "new" iPad appears to be the biggest cause for concern in my mind. Enthusiasm for Amazon.com's (Nasdaq: AMZN ) low-priced Kindle may have kept some buyers away from Apple's tab. Reports of strong demand for Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG ) Nexus 7 may keep them away again in fiscal Q4.
Investors aren't taking the news well. As of this writing, shares of the Mac maker are down more than 4% after hours. The last time Apple disappointed investors like this, the stock fell more than 10%. Brace yourself if you own shares.
And don't sell. Now that Apple is sitting on more than $100 billion in cash plus short- and long-term investments -- $117.2 billion, if you want to be precise -- CEO Tim Cook and the Apple board figure there's no need to wait longer to pay shareholders a meaty dividend. Owners as of Aug. 13 can expect to receive $2.65 for each share they own on Aug. 16.
I'll take the proceeds, thanks, and keep an outperform CAPScall on Apple. Think I'm wrong? So be it. There are plenty more safe bets trading on the cheap, including these six stocks that top professional investors are buying now. Or if you want to get the scoop on both the bear and bull cases for owning Apple, you can pick up the Fool's brand new premium report on Apple.