Apple Inc. will report its third fiscal quarter at 430pEDT, and then address analysts on the conference call at 5pEDT.
The headline numbers to watch: $1.17 a share on $8.2 billion. More than 2.4 million Macs, 5 million iPhones and 10.5 million iPods should also sell. And gross margins should be about 33 percent.
Looking at the fourth quarter, the EPS range on the Street is $1.20 to $1.29 on $8.9 billion to $9 billion in revenue.
There are some interesting metrics out there, following Apple's historic performance. This company has beaten earnings estimates for something like 10 straight quarters. We know they low-ball, we address it, and they still manage to beat.
Shares tend to sell on the news but then recover in the days ahead. So investors shouldn't necessarily be spooked by an instant sell-off, should one happen, or conservative guidance, which wouldn't be a surprise.
Nonetheless, if Apple does beat, and manages to meet some of those crazy whisper numbers out there, that could mean Apple will crush numbers in its September quarter.
Meantime, attention will turn to the conference call. The long shot is that Steve Jobs makes an appearance, but it's a long shot and I'd be surprised. What about Tim Cook's elevation to the board of directors? That might come up.
No matter what, it'll be a fascinating call, and I'll be live-blogging here, and talking about it live coming up on "Fast Money." Hope you keep checking back!
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