Updates from Apple, Easyjet and BT

Spanish stress saw the FTSE 100 dip -34.64 points lower yesterday, taking it just under the 5,500 point threshold. The biggest faller was Glencore International, slipping -2.33%. The biggest riser was Croda Int, up +6.06%.

Asian shares overnight dipped further, with the Nikkei giving away -1.7% while the Hang Seng dropped -0.7%.
Let's start with Apple. The iPad and iPhone maker has seen iPhone sales rise +28% to 26m, somewhat lower than many analysts had hoped. Apple shares lurched -5% down on the news. But although iPhone sales were clearly soft, anticipation for the likely September launch of the new iPhone 5 is rising - which has dented sales of the current model.

Apple execs also blame the economic downturn in Europe for slipping sales. However Apple profits soared +21% and revenues climbed +23% to $35bn. Sales of the iPad also climbed sharply: sales soared to 17m in the last quarter.

"We're continuing to invest in the growth of our business and are pleased to be declaring a dividend of $2.65 per share today," said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's CFO. "Looking ahead to the fourth fiscal quarter, we expect revenue of about $34 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $7.65."

Next, quarterly numbers for BT. BT Group sees adjusted operating profit climb +6% to £740m while pre-tax profits climb +8% to £578m. Earnings per share soar +10% to 5.7p. BT claims good performances in BT Retail, BT Wholesale and Openreach while BT Global Services was impacted by the tough conditions in Europe and the financial services sector.

Revenues however slipped 6% to £4.48bn. "We have delivered," says BT boss Ian Livingston, "another quarter of profit growth and the 11th consecutive quarter of double-digit earnings per share growth, although our quarterly cash flow was impacted by the timing of working capital movements.

BT's current investment plans will create around 2,000 jobs in 2012, recruiting engineers to support fibre plans and opening four new UK call centres.

Lastly, an interim from Easyjet for the quarter up to 30 June. Total revenue per seat climbs +4.7% to £57.58; an increase of 4.7%, at constant currency. However total revenues climb 10.5% to £1,033m with seats flown growing 7.5% to 17.9m says Easyjet.

Passengers carried increased 10.9% to 16m while the company's load factor increased 2.8% points to 89.1%. The 'europe by easyJet' campaign and the recently launched mobile app helped boost sales, the company claims. Revenue per seat growth was 2.8% on a reported basis, due to the volatile year-on-year change in the euro.

"The continued strong operational and financial performance of the business," says boss Carolyn McCall, "combined with the fall in the price of jet fuel means that profit before tax for the year ending 30th September 2012 is anticipated to be in the range of £280 million to £300 million, at current fuel and exchange rates."

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