Apple And Amazon Earnings Disappoint
US technology and retail giants Apple and Amazon have posted quarterly earnings that were below Wall Street expectations.
Apple missed analysts' forecasts for the second straight quarter after sales of iPads disappointed.
This was blamed on the weak economy and consumers waiting for the highly anticipated launch of the new smaller and cheaper iPad Mini, announced earlier this week.
Net income over the last three months was $8.2bn (£5bn), or $8.67 per share, up from $6.6bn a year ago. Analysts were expecting earnings of $8.84 per share.
Revenue at the California firm was $36bn (£22bn), up 27% from a year ago. This was broadly in line with forecasts of $35.8bn.
Apple revealed it sold 26.9 million iPhones in the quarter, at the high end of expectations, and 14 million iPads.
Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said they were "happy" with iPad sales, but added "as the summer went on, the rumours were pretty rampant about the iPhone (5) and iPad (Mini)".
He said the results were, in part, due to the introduction of so many new products at once, which would have more costly production lines and components initially.
As well as unveiling the iPad Mini this week, Apple announced an upgraded full-size iPad, plus a new MacBook laptop and two desktop Macs. It also launched the iPhone 5 a month ago.
Meanwhile, Amazon reported weak results in its third quarter after spending heavily and suffering from the economic slowdown in the eurozone.
The world's largest online retailer posted a loss of $274m (£170m) in the July to September period, down from earnings of $63m (£39m) a year earlier.
Part of the loss related to an impairment charge from Amazon's stake in daily deal company LivingSocial. It was also due to investment in its Kindle and distribution centres in an attempt to grow its business.
Revenue grew 27% to $13.81bn (£11.7bn), from $10.88bn (£6.75bn), falling short of analysts' expectations.
Amazon said its Kindle Fire HD tablet is its best-selling product worldwide, but as usual, it did not give specific sales figures. It has a larger version of the device out next month.
"Our approach is to work hard to charge less. Sell devices near breakeven and you can pack a lot of sophisticated hardware into a very low price point," founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement.
In its results announcement Amazon included a list trumpeting its high-definition Kindle Fires as cheaper than the iPad Mini and with more features.
But commentators pointed out that Apple's iPad has a much wider selection of third-party apps.
:: In South Korea, there was better news for Samsung Electronics which posted record third quarter profits of $5.97bn (£3.7bn), driven by strong sales of its Galaxy phones, extending its lead over rivals in the smartphone market.