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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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RE: Much more?
By walk2k on 10/20/2009 2:07:04 AM , Rating: -1
Lol yes thanks for proving my point.

Reality: "Ipod sales are down 3%"
RDF: "the MP3 market is saturated"

Reality: "Mac sales are up 3%"


RE: Much more?
By KoolAidMan1 on 10/20/2009 2:28:52 AM , Rating: 3
What a crap post. You ignore hard numbers so you can make a stupid LOL RDF joke.

Step out of your own RDF field and pay attention to facts for a moment.

Q408 - 2.61 million Macs, 6.89 million iPhones
Q409 - 3.05 million Macs, 7.4 million iPhones

Q408 - $7.9 billion revenue with $1.14 billion net profit
Q409 - $9.87 billion revenue with $1.67 billion net profit

Gross margins remain at ~35%. This is amazing growth, I think even the most bullish AAPL investors were caught off guard by these figures. On top of that, non-GAAP accounting for the iPhone and AppleTV would put the Q409 figures at $2.85 billion net income on $12.25 billion revenue (Sarbannes-Oxley rules make it so that iPhone and AppleTV must account for income over the course of its first two years instead of reported quarterly with everything else).

Now, if you're talking about overall market share, it is really quite irrelevant. All that matters is that Apple have continued to grow sales at a continually accelerating rate, and at a healthy profit.

Looking at market share alone is short sighted and is something that Wall Street really doesn't care about, otherwise the resulting flattening or drop in expected future earnings would drag the share prices down. HP will sell 16 million this quarter but it doesn't mean nearly as much to their bottom line because almost all of it are in low-margin sales, nor does it mean much for their potential for future growth because their sales are relatively saturated. This is why you have companies like AAPL and RIMM trading at higher PE ratios.

RE: Much more?
By SPOOFE on 10/20/2009 4:38:47 AM , Rating: 2
Talkin' about Reality Distortion Fields, how come everyone ranting about Macolytes and Cult Followings have to simultaneously assert such ridiculous things that are completely contrary to actual events? Even if you don't like Macs, iPods, iTunes, or turtlenecks, there's no denying that Apple makes piles of sweet beautiful money... even in a nasty recession. Clearly they're doing SOMETHING right...

... And yet, those ranting about RDF's often have a hard time admitting it, despite all the evidence. The irony almost makes me wanna buy a Mac.

RE: Much more?
By KoolAidMan1 on 10/20/2009 3:38:15 PM , Rating: 2
Fanboys on any side bug the crap out of me, be they Mactards, Wintards, or Linux zealots. It is ridiculous how hard Walk2k is fanboying it up right now.

RE: Much more?
By Alexstarfire on 10/20/2009 4:51:24 PM , Rating: 2
Why are you so defensive against a non-fanboy post?

RE: Much more?
By KoolAidMan1 on 10/20/2009 5:45:13 PM , Rating: 2
I'm agreeing with SPOOFE!

RE: Much more?
By walk2k on 10/20/2009 12:24:32 PM , Rating: 2
Yes profit wise they have done well in a recession, nobody's arguing that. The simple fact you keep ignoring is that the VAST majority of their profits come from iPhones and iPods. If you took the time to actually read for once you might notice we were talking about Mac market share.

So again, what does the RDF have to say about maketshare?

Reality: "Mac market share still only 5-6%% despite the fact that Apple was able to take advantage of the worst period in Windows recent history (the whole Vista debacle)."

RDF: "Market share is irrelevant!"

LOL exactly. You just don't get it do you? Well nevermind you can't argue with certain people about their religion I guess.

RE: Much more?
By KoolAidMan1 on 10/20/2009 3:33:26 PM , Rating: 2
The bulk of Apple's profits are from Mac sales. Not the iPhone, not the iPod. Mac sales. Repeat it again.

Your posts are based on fabrications that come out of a fanboy mentality. Step out of that and pay attention to hard numbers for a moment.

RE: Much more?
By FITCraparo on 10/20/2009 6:24:53 AM , Rating: 2
mac sales up by 3%

my question would be, how much of that 3% are going to schools, do they count their "Donations" as sales. i have a few friends that work in I.T departments in schools and they say that mac reps have been feverishly trying to get them to upgrade all their macs either offering free or large discounts on Macs, iphones and AT&T phone plans, and sadly their schools are buying them so that the schools budget doesnt get cut, (NICE USE OF TAXPAYERS MONEY).

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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