Print 52 comment(s) - last by KoolAidMan1.. on Oct 20 at 5:45 PM

Apple is practically printing money, blowing away analysts estimates quarter after quarter, and sustaining terrific growth. Sales of Macs and iPods shot up in the company's fiscal Q4, which ended September 26.  (Source: Apple Gazette)
Even analyst's raised predictions fell dramatically short

Apple is a company that continues to defy expectations.  Reporting its fiscal Q4 earnings late this afternoon, Apple continued to restore its reputation as one of Silicon Valley's hottest companies and help put a sales slump from earlier this year behind it for good.  The results for the quarter, which ended September 26, took even Apple's most optimistic supporters by surprise.

Analysts had raised their estimates in September, afraid of embarrassment from past underestimations.  Unfortunately for them, the Apple surprise was even bigger this time, and they still fell short.  Analysts had forecast $1.42 earnings per share in profit -- Apple delivered $1.82 earnings per share.  Revenue was $9.87B USD, much more than the predicted $9.2B USD.

Fueled by the 3GS refresh, over 7.4 million iPhones were sold over the quarter, nearly matching the raised estimates of analysts, some of whom were predicted about 7.5 million sales.  Fears that Apple's sales weren't on pace proved unfounded.  The sales marked an increase over analyst average estimates of 7 million phones, and a substantial increase over last year's sales of 6.9 million units.

The best news for Apple, though, was its Mac sales.  Boosted by Snow Leopard and Back-to-School specials, Apple sold 3 million Macs, much more than the analyst forecast of 2.8 million units.  This was particularly significant as Macs comprise the largest single source of Apple's income.

As predicted, iPod shipments declined 8 percent to 10.2 million units.  Still, this was slightly cheerier than the 10 million units that was the average forecast.  And the financials look rock solid.  Gross margins as a percentage of revenue are up to 36.6 percent, compared 34.7 percent in fiscal Q4 of last year.

Despite being embarrassed again, analysts lavished praise on the bullish Apple.  States Shaw Wu, who covers Apple for Kaufman Bros, "It was a strong, strong quarter.  [The] big upside was driven by Macs and iPhones. This was amazing despite very high expectations, and we're still in the middle of a recession."

Stocks roared upwards in after hours trading, gaining more than 6 percent and cracking $201/share, to tie the company's highest historic share price (Note: These were after-hours trades, the market may yet settle to a slightly lower mark).

Apple CEO Steve Jobs cheered the results and titillated Apple fans, stating that the company has "some really great new products in the pipeline for 2010".  He's likely referring to Apple's upcoming tablet PC, which is rumored to finally hit in 2010.

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let's cut to the point
By mydogfarted on 10/19/2009 6:14:32 PM , Rating: -1
ZOMG! Apple is the anti-christ! Moar peoplez drinking teh Apple Kool-Aid. Macs suck!

Did I cover all the hater comments?

RE: let's cut to the point
By Alexstarfire on 10/19/09, Rating: 0
RE: let's cut to the point
By FATCamaro on 10/19/2009 7:15:14 PM , Rating: 4
The problem with your statement is that they are also at the top of satisfaction surveys. Which means people are liking what they are trying.

RE: let's cut to the point
By Alexstarfire on 10/19/2009 7:24:27 PM , Rating: 1
Which I've also pointed out doesn't mean it's the best product either. I guess people fail at reading on here. Though perhaps you just haven't seen the NUMEROUS other posts I've had on that subject. Of course not all people are the same too. Could be that those inclined to purchase a mac will like it more than those who don't purchase one. Which again says nothing about the quality of the product itself, just the way it's perceived.

RE: let's cut to the point
By Pneumothorax on 10/19/2009 8:13:59 PM , Rating: 2
After spending >$5000 in MBP's in the last 2 years, I'm bittersweet with my Apple experience. On one hand, PC users don't have a laptop with the speed(with a caveat), 15" screen size, battery life (without a heavy/ugly lump of an extended battery sticking out the back), weight/build quality in one laptop. OTOH my ~$500 X25M 160gb will constantly freeze (beachball) or I can choose to cap it at SATA I speeds. 1 laptop swap and motherboard swap later, I'm still running at 1.5gbps speeds to keep it from freezing.

RE: let's cut to the point
By Alexstarfire on 10/20/2009 1:51:17 AM , Rating: 2
I really don't know why I got down rated for my last post, because what I said is true? If people don't believe that the way you perceive an object affects how much you like it then they are living in a fantasy world. What I said applies to far more companies than just Apple so it's not like I'm some Apple basher doing it because everyone does.

I'm sorry you bought a crappy laptop, but there isn't anything I can do about it. I can say that one thing I have found interesting is that it's not so much the laptop as it is the OS that affects battery life. I'm not sure if you remember the article that Anandtech did comparing Windows to Mac OS in battery life on notebooks. Windows laptop did crap, Macbook did great. Then they put Windows on the Macbook and watched the battery life fall right in line with the Windows laptop. Seems that either Apple is crippling Windows on it's laptops or that its own OS does something to improve battery life. I couldn't say without knowing the ins and outs of both OSes.

I'm also glad that you have >$5k to spend on laptops alone, but most don't have that kind of money. People seem to be insulted when others tell them they can't afford a Mac, IDK why though. I've had my $400 laptop for about a year and it's great. No problems with it at all. Doesn't play games that well, but I didn't buy it to play games. Everything else it is just fantastic for. Can't say much about build quality since this is the only laptop I've owned, but since I don't treat it like crap it pretty much looks brand new. The top cover has some scuffs and is worn a bit, but that's it. No scratches, chunks, or pieces broken off. Keys work perfectly and everything else is exactly the same, including the screen. I simply never could have afforded to get Macbook even if I wanted one. Yes a Macbook is far better than what I have, but it really doesn't matter. This suits my needs pretty much perfectly. Only thing I'd change is putting in a dedicated graphics card. Integrated GPU FTL.

RE: let's cut to the point
By PrinceGaz on 10/19/2009 7:37:48 PM , Rating: 2
Most Apple owners are very satisfied with what they bought because they perceive it as being the best available product. Whether it is the best or not is irrelevant; they believe because they spent a lot of money on a recognised brand that they have the best product available.

Having bought what they see as the best brand, one which is recognisable among all their peers who also view it as the best brand makes them happy with their purchase. It doesn't matter if they are selling over-priced junk, or genuine high-quality products. Apple is now associated with quality and people like to be seen with it.

RE: let's cut to the point
By Alexstarfire on 10/19/2009 7:51:50 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. I think if they actually used all the products available and then voted I think we may end up seeing things in a bit truer light. Although what he says may still stand. It's one of the reasons why Sony is still pretty dominant in the TV sector even though there are other TVs that are better and cheaper than them. Perception is everything, which is why I said they aren't bad businessmen or marketers.

RE: let's cut to the point
By dark matter on 10/20/2009 2:33:35 AM , Rating: 2
Erm, don't Apple place gagging orders on customers who have problems with their product in order for them to get a refund?

"What's the matter sir, your iPod exploded and took out your car"
"Yes, and I am going to tell everyone"
"Actually Sir, you're not allowed to, Lawyers are already onto you, if you dare speak about this to anyone you will get a knock on your door in the middle of the night"
"Oh, I see"
"Yes, you better had"

RE: let's cut to the point
By sprockkets on 10/19/2009 8:39:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, and this is the second stupid knockoff name that's come up in the past week. Can't you come up with something better than a "FITcamaro" sound alike?

RE: let's cut to the point
By Pirks on 10/19/2009 6:47:27 PM , Rating: 2
No, you forgot "MACS ARE OVERPRICED!!!" part :P

Also there's a part about Jobs's new liver too.

Man, you suck at it :P

RE: let's cut to the point
By walk2k on 10/19/2009 7:26:06 PM , Rating: 1
10 million iPods 7 million iPhones vs 3 million Macs... how is this a win for the Mac again? It may be good financially for Apple but not much of a threat to MS/Windows.

It's real easy to exceed expectations when you set them so low.


RE: let's cut to the point
By captainBOB on 10/19/2009 10:23:59 PM , Rating: 3
You forget that those same overpriced Macs and iPhones also generate a lot of profit per unit sold so while Apple could sell 5 million Macs @ $200, they prefer to sell 3 million Macs at the $1000+ price range, effectively earning more for less.

Its not about who sells the most, but who gets the most money out of it, and Apple wins in that regard.

RE: let's cut to the point
By damianrobertjones on 10/20/2009 5:46:32 AM , Rating: 2
You may not realise, but apple have captured the imagination or should I say stupidity of the young generation. With them eventually growing older, earning more money, apple sales will grow and grow.

I don't really like this situation as it's all down to the 'cool' factor, not the 'our products are better'. They're not. Never will be. Inovation, yes, better, no.

RE: let's cut to the point
By KoolAidMan1 on 10/20/2009 6:21:59 AM , Rating: 2
Nope, some of their products are actually better. The only other notebook I would think of owning are mid and high end Lenovos, everything else doesn't measure up to the Macbook Pro. I've used Windows for over a decade longer than I've used OS X (got my first Mac for Final Cut Pro back in 2002), I know both operating systems backwards and forwards, and I believe that OS X has a much better UI for multitasking. My Mac is my work/general purpose machine while my Windows PC is for games, basically a very expensive console.

This isn't a bad thing btw; if it wasn't for competition in the OS space then Microsoft wouldn't have such a fire under their ass to make Windows 7 as great as it is. The result is the best version of Windows so far. See, not bad. The only thing that is "bad" is when a single corporation has complete dominance and gets lazy as a result. Everybody is competing hard right now and we all benefit from it.

RE: let's cut to the point
By damianrobertjones on 10/20/2009 8:22:29 AM , Rating: 2
True, true. Good points there. Competition = good. Intel/amd etc.

I just wish apple would be straight with their adverts instead of 'cheating'... ish. Apple = cool, pc = sad, lonely guy, with bad haircut. Doh

RE: let's cut to the point
By n0ebert on 10/20/2009 10:13:27 AM , Rating: 2
They should grow. They need to grow to a level where they will be brought under the same scrutiny and criticism as Microsoft is by the governments. It seems they go largely ignored because of their much smaller market share. I hope to one day see the EU fining Apple some stupidly large sum of money like they did Intel and Microsoft.

RE: let's cut to the point
By hiscross on 10/19/2009 9:24:52 PM , Rating: 2
Apple can't be the anti-christ because Steve is sort of a Buddhist or something. Maybe we are seeing Henry Reardon before he leaves and relocates at Galt's Gulch. Producers won't be around much longer. When are leave, you'll know "Who is John Galt". Nice piece of work Apple.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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