Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to post robust quarterly sales and profits this afternoon after the market closes, news the company likely hopes will steer the narrative away from concerns about its iPhone 4 antenna.
The company, which for the past several weeks has suffered through the "antennagate" controversy, is expected to report revenue of around $14.74 billion, according the Wall Street consensus compiled by Fortune, and earnings per share of $3.10.
Interestingly, most analysts said the antenna issue, which Apple CEO Steve Jobs addressed in a press conference Friday, will not materially impact Apple's earnings. Apple will offer free bumper cases to iPhone 4 customers and Jobs apologized to customers who have experienced issues with the device's reception.
"We believe Apple's event should nip the issue in the bud," UBS analyst Maynard Um wrote in a research note. "Though free bumpers come at a cost, we see it as relatively immaterial (~$0.03 impact next quarter) and helps to put a little shine back on Apple's customer-centric focus."
Other analysts agreed. "The antenna controversy has not appeared to temper demand for the iPhone 4," BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk wrote in a research note. "We believe the demand for smartphones is at the beginning of a massive acceleration in growth based on our analysis of past consumer adoption trends. While we expect Apple to be the primary beneficiary we recognize that Apple's growth in 2011 could be limited by how quickly it can source components and expand manufacturing capacity."
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