Apple (AAPL) Reports Lower 4Q Earnings, Stock Slightly Fell After Hours

The stock price of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) slightly declined to $527.67 per share as the tech giant reported lower fourth quarter financial results after trading hours on Monday. The iPhone and iPad maker generated a profit of $7.5 billion or $8.26 earnings per diluted share compared with its $8.2 billion profit of $8.67 earnings per in the same period a year ago.

Apple’s fourth quarter revenue was $37.5 billion revenue, higher than its $36 billion revenue in the same quarter last year. Its international sales account 60% of its total revenue for the period. The company said its gross margin declined from 40% to 37%.

Apple sold 33.8 million iPhones and 14.2 million iPads, higher than the 26.9 million iPhones and 14 million iPads sold in the September quarter last year. However, its sales performance on Mac computers at 4.6 million is lower than the 4.9 million Macs sold in the same period year ago.

In a statement, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “We’re pleased to report a strong finish to an amazing year with record fourth quarter revenue, including sales of almost 34 million iPhones. We’re excited to go into the holidays with our new iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, iOS 7, the new iPad mini with Retina Display and the incredibly thin and light iPad Air, new MacBook Pros, the radical new Mac Pro, OS X Mavericks and the next generation iWork and iLife apps for OS X and iOS.”

Apple CFO, Peter Oppenheimer added, “We generated $9.9 billion in cash flow from operations and returned an additional $7.8 billion in cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases during the September quarter, bringing cumulative payments under our capital return program to $36 billion.”

The board of directors of the tech giant approved a quarterly dividend payment of $3.05 per share on Apple’s common stock. The dividend will be payable on November 14 to shareholders on record until the closing of the business on November 11.

Apple expects to generate around $55 billion to $58 billion revenue in the first quarter of 2014. The tech giant also expects to incur between $4.4 billion to $4.5 billion expenses and other income/ (expense) of $200 million. The company projected its gross margin in the range of 36.5% to 37.5% and tax rate at 26.25%.

During the earnings call of the company, Cook said Apple will introduce new products in 2o14. He said, “If you look at the skills Apple has from hardware and software services…no one has skills like this. We obviously believe we can use our skills to build other great products in areas we do not participate in today.” There had been speculations that the tech giant is working on a smartwatch, which was dubbed by technology observers as iWatch.