Ahead of the tape: Apple Q309 earnings preview

Apple plans to conduct a conference call to discuss financial results of its third fiscal quarter tomorrow,  Tuesday, 21 July 21 2009 at 2:00 p.m.

Q3 - 2009Apple plans to conduct a conference call to discuss financial results of its third fiscal quarter tomorrow,  Tuesday, 21 July 21 2009 at 2:00 p.m. PT, 5:00 p.m. ET. The conference call will be streamed via Quicktime (natch) from the company's Investor Relations Web site.

CNet new has posted an excellent piece on what to expect from Apple's quarterly progress report.

Analysts are expecting revenues for the quarter between $7.88 billion and $8.44 billion, and earnings per share between $1.02 and $1.31. Apple itself--which always gives guidance on the low side--is anticipating revenue between $7.7 billion and $7.9 billion and earnings per share between 95 cents and a dollar.

iPhone 3GS sales are expected to be excellent with over 1 million sold in the first weekend and AT&T reporting that launch day was the carrier's single best sales day in history. Piper Jaffray expects that 5 million iPhones were sold in the quarter.

The real question is Mac sales. Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster estimates that Apple sold 2.2 million Macs during the quarter benefiting from price cuts and the launch of the aluminum MacBook Pros. But IDC recently noted that U.S. Mac shipments dropped by over 12 percent this quarter while the entire PC industry was down only 3.1 percent worldwide.

There will be lots of questions about the economy and Steve Jobs' health and the call should be enlightening. I wouldn't be surprised if Steve Jobs appeared on the call himself, if for no other reason than to calm the nerves of jittery investors.

At press time AAPL is trading at 153.68 +1.93? (1.27%?).

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