Today, Apple announced its record-breaking earnings for the first fiscal quarter of 2012. This earnings call is significant because not only does it cover the holiday sales period and the wildly popular launch of the iPhone 4S in China, it's the first full earnings report since co-founder Steve Jobs stepped down from the helm.
And it was a blowout indeed. Smashing expectations, Apple managed to tally revenues of $46.3 billion and a quarterly net profit of $13.06 billion, or $13.87 per diluted share, over the holiday quarter. They sold 37 million iPhones and 15.43 million iPads--both more than twice as many as they sold in the last quarter. They also moved more than 5 million Mac units, not to mention a decent 15.4 million iPods.
“We’re thrilled with our outstanding results and record-breaking sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Apple’s momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline.”
During the earnings call, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer noted that the company added an extra 14th week to the quarter, which augmented results. He also revealed a number of other interesting tidbits during the call: The iPhone 4S is now available in over 90 countries including China, making it Apple's fastest product rollout ever. There are 1.5 million iPads currently being used in schools--with over 600,000 downloads of iBooks Author and over 3 million downloads of iTunes U since last week's release of these apps. And finally, Apple pulls in $6.1 billion in revenue from retail stores, which are frequented by 110 million visitors--or a staggering 22,000 visitors per store, per week.
Cook hedged in his responses when asked about future endeavors for the Apple TV and how the company plans to use the $97.6 billion they have now accrued in cash (though he did mention that they are "actively" looking for uses for the cash, but "not letting it burn a hole in [their] pockets"). Similarly, Oppenheimer was cryptic about Apple's intentions in their recent acquisition of Anobit, a small Israeli company that specializes in flash storage.
Ahead of the report, Fortune had rounded up a collection of expectations from 17 independent analysts and 34 affiliated analysts. As usual, the independent consensus was much more optimistic than affiliated analysts' prediction. Independent analysts anticipated earnings per share (EPS) of $12.01 on revenue of $43.14 billion, while institutional analysts predicted a conservative $10.19 EPS on $39.23 billion in revenue. The astonishing results released today have vaulted past all these expectations. In fact, this marks Apple's biggest quarter ever in the history of the company.
Last quarter, Apple earnings fell short of analyst expectations by missing Street estimates by about twenty cents. Previously, the tech company had their best quarter ever during fiscal Q311 when they posted $7.31 billion in profit on sales of $28.57 billion--but that's been effectively beat today with these numbers. You can read the newly minted press release of Apple's earnings right here.
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