Apple Inc. (AAPL), Inc. (AMZN): Earnings Disappoint

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) had their days in the spotlight Thursday after market hours, as both companies posted their quarterly earnings reports. And as a bright light exposes flaws and shortcomings even more starkly, such is the case with the earnings reports for both companies, as neither one lived up to analysts’ expectations, on either the top or bottom line. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) did a little better than Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) in terms of the raw numbers, as Apple made money while Amazon took a loss for the most recent quarter – but the concern might be that Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) lost more than analysts expected.

As both companies posted their earnings Thursday afternoon, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced quarterly revenue of $36 billion, which was up 27 percent from a year ago and was in-line with analysts’ estimates of $35.8 billion. However, earnings per share of $8.67 came up short of analysts’ $8.84 projection, despite the number being up 24 percent from the same quarter in 2011. The results of the quarterly sales were below expectations, and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) blamed the slowdown on slowing growth in China and an overall economic slowdown in Europe. However, Apple inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) reported selling nearly 27 million iPhone 5 devices – right at the top of expectations – along with 14 million iPads during the quarter while consumers waited for the iPad Mini and a new iPad 4.

When it comes to Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), the company reported a larger loss than expected – but a loss nonetheless. Claiming much of the negative news on the company’s investment in the company – investment in e-readers and tablets, opening new markets such as China and expanding video content. The company raised its operating expenses to nearly $14 million, up 28 percent over $11 billion in expenses in the prior year’s quarter. Overall, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) posted revenue of $13.81 billion and earnings per share of minus-60 cents, which were down from $13.91 billion revenue estimate and minus-7 cents EPS by analysts. Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) reported a loss of 37 cents per share attributed to the company’s minority stake in Living Social – though without that the company was still down 23 cents per share, still three times more than analysts’ expectations.

These numbers will likely not go over well during Friday trading, unless CEOs Tim Cook of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Jeff Bezos of Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) threw their investors a hopeful lifeline to get them fired up for the holiday shopping season. What investors like billionaire fund managers Dan Loeb of Third Point and Jim Chanos of Kynikos will handle this news heading into he holiday season will be something to watch in the coming weeks.