Apple is set to release its Q1 2013 earnings in just under one hour, at 5:00pm EST (2:00pm PST). Analysts and investors are hoping for a blockbuster holiday quarter from the consumer electronics giant as a way to strengthen its position as the leading technology company in the world. Apple’s stock ($AAPL) has taken a beating over the last few months, dropping just over 25% from an all-time high price of $705 reached in September 2012. This drop is price is based off reports last month that Apple was cutting its iPhone 5 component orders in half, causing significant panic from the investor community.
However, recent reports from telecom companies AT&T and Verizon paint a much brighter picture for Apple, stating that Apple’s iPhone 5 smartphone has accounted for the majority of new smartphone purchases for each company. Additionally, despite Samsung encroaching on Apple the past year, some analysts are now saying that the South Korean company’s growth rate is slowing, allowing for Apple to regain its dominant position.
Analysts are still pressing Apple for massive revenue and margin numbers. According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, Apple is predicted to hit revenue of $54.58 billion (EPS of $13.34), with an impressive gross margin of 39.5%. If Apple comes in around those numbers, we should see the stock hold or even jump a little bit. If Apple has a better than expected quarter, even with all the recent onslaught of attacks from Samsung, shares of Apple could bounce significantly, and we could see the stock hit $600 again soon. However, if Apple disappoints, shares will tumble as already shaky investors would see this as just another sign that Apple’s best days are behind them.
I’ll be liveblogging the conference call at 5:00pm EST, so please stick around for live updates!