Apple Earnings: Here's Everything You Need To Know

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Photo: Associated Press

Apple’s first quarter of iPad sales should help it beat the Street. But will “Antennagate” push Q4 guidance lower?Apple reports Q3 earnings today after the bell. Join us for LIVE analysis beginning at 4 p.m. ET by clicking here.

fuelled by the iPad launch at the beginning of the quarter and the iPhone 4 launch at the end of the quarter, and helped by a big quarter of Mac sales, Apple should have no problem beating estimates today.

But as always, Apple’s guidance will be an equally important barometer. The company is known for issuing “comically” conservative forecasts and them beating them silly. Investors are used to this.

But the recent “Antennagate” could potentially cause some trouble. Because some people are having issues with Apple’s iPhone 4 antenna, the company is giving away free cases to all of its iPhone 4 buyers through the end of September, and potentially throughout the iPhone 4’s lifespan.

While that program by itself won’t be too costly, there’s also the possibility that Apple may reduce its internal iPhone shipment estimates based on the controversy. (The iPhone is now Apple’s biggest revenue generator, so that’s potentially a big deal.)

We still think most would-be iPhone 4 buyers will still buy iPhone 4s. But because of the paranoia brought on by “Antennagate,” maybe not everyone will.

It’s possible that super-conservative Apple will use the opportunity to be even more conservative than usual when predicting Q4 revenue, margins, or both. And that might spook investors.

Here are the key stats for today’s earnings presentation:

Q3 Revenue: $14.75 billion Street consensus, $15.74 billion high Street estimate, $13.2 billion guidance
Q3 EPS: $3.11 Street consensus, $3.47 high Street estimate, $3.28 “real” estimate, $2.34 guidance
Q3 iPhone shipments: 8.7 million Street consensus, 9.5 million Munster/Piper estimate, 8.8 million Andy Zaky estimate
Q3 iPad shipments: 3.2 million Munster/Piper estimate, 3.4 million Andy Zaky estimate
Q3 Mac shipments: 3.1 million Street consensus (could be upside because of favourable NPD numbers, which came out last night), 3.36 million Andy Zaky estimate
Q3 iPod shipments: 9.1 million Street consensus
Q4 Revenue guidance: $17.03 Street consensus, $16.1 Munster/Piper expectations
Q4 EPS guidance: $3.82 Street consensus, $3.30 Munster/Piper expectations

Join us here at 4 p.m. ET for LIVE coverage.

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