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Earnings preview: Sales of the season

Dan Moren | Jan. 28, 2014
The holidays may be over for the rest of us, but Apple hasn't yet disclosed whether its stocking was overflowing with treats or contained only a lump of coal. On Monday, the company will reveal its earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2014, which includes the winter shopping season. As usual, the announcement will be followed by a conference call at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET with Apple executives and financial analysts; Macworld will, of course, be on hand to provide live coverage of the earnings and the call.

Some hay may also be made over the company's back and forth with billionaire investor Carl Icahn over returning more money to shareholders; Apple will probably trumpet the amount of money it's already returned with its share-repurchasing plan.

The rest
As is their wont, analysts will try to pump Tim Cook for any information about Apple's product pipeline. Cook said last year that Apple was "hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software, and services that we can't wait to introduce this fall and throughout 2014"; starry-eyed analysts have taken this to mean Apple is finally getting into new product categories, such as televisions and/or wearable technology games, but Cook could simply have been referencing updates to the company's existing product lines.

Based on the current grist in the rumor mill, expect potential questions about larger-screened iPhones, updates to the Apple TV, and whether Cook has given any further thought to that wearable technology space. In terms of answers, though, the watchwords are "non-committal" and "vague." For more than that, we'll have to wait for the next Apple event, whenever it may be.


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