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SEATTLE – (Nasdaq: AAPL), maker of Macintosh computers, the iPhone and other gadgets, reports its fiscal second-quarter results after the stock market closes Tuesday.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Wall Street expects strong iPhone sales to carry Apple’s quarterly results – it’s a profitable piece of hardware and Apple has continued to expand the number of countries and wireless carriers that sell it.
But one big question on investors’ minds that won’t be answered by the numbers in Apple’s earnings report is whether Apple will add a second U.S. carrier to compete with AT&T Inc.
Rumors of a Verizon Wireless iPhone revived at the end of the quarter, and analysts will be listening for any sign that Apple will add another U.S. carrier. Tavis McCourt, an analyst for Morgan Keegan, wrote in a recent research note that he expects "robust" growth in international iPhone sales but more "mundane" growth in the U.S.
Investors also will look for an update on the company’s newest product, the iPad tablet computer, which went on sale a few days after the quarter ended.
Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., says it sold more than 500,000 iPads in the first week. The company has postponed the device’s international launch because of short supply.
WHY IT MATTERS: If iPad sales continued to boom after the first week, it could signal Apple’s first fully new product since the iPhone will be a home run with broad appeal beyond early adopters.
WHAT’S EXPECTED: Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect Apple to earn $2.43 per share on $12.03 billion in revenue.
LAST YEAR’S QUARTER: Apple reported net income of $1.33 per share on $8.16 billion in revenue.