Wall Street it bracing for what may be the most closely watched Apple earnings report in the company's history.
This report will be more scrutinized than ever because while the world's most valuable company, in terms of stock value, is expected to report a record quarterly profit after the markets close today, some analysts are betting that sales of iPhones year-over-year will fall for the first time ever.
Everyone will be tuning in after the stock market closes today to see if they're right.
Apple is expected to report that it beat its own record quarter of December 2014. Financial analysts predict Apple's quarterly revenue will range between $74.6 billion and $82.4 billion,
Analysts polled by S&P Capital expect to see revenue of $76.596 billion, or $3.34 a share, up slightly from $74.599 billion in the fourth quarter a year prior.
But investors want to hear that Apple sold at least 75 million iPhones in the holiday quarter. In the holiday quarter of 2014, Apple sold 74.5 million iPhones.
Even if holiday sales of the iPhone are the same or up slightly year-over year, analysts across the board will be focused on the next quarter, not the past.
Stock watchers will be looking to Apple CEO Tim Cook for revenue guidance of $55.7 billion, which would be a 4 percent drop — the first revenue decline in Apple's modern history.
Apple is the darling of the tech world, achieving monster growth year after year. Since its debut in the summer of 2007, the iPhone has had remarkable sales increases. But concerns about slowing growth are fueling debate about what the future holds for Apple.
The company's shares have taken a beating, falling 11 percent since the last earnings report in October, mostly on concerns that iPhone sales may have dropped off.
Those worries about slowing demand have been fed by forecasts of lackluster sales by some of Apple's main Asian suppliers. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, the world's largest contract chipmaker, and Largan Precision, a smartphone camera lens producer, both expect revenues and orders to drop off in the coming quarter, indicating iPhone sales may show an annual decline for the first time in the history of the product, Reuters reported.
Apple makes most of its money from iPhone sales, but results released Tuesday could mark a pivotal moment for the Silicon Valley giant. The numbers could prove the stock's slump was justified or signal that it is poised for a long-awaited rally. We'll have to watch and see.