Apple Earnings Double on iPhone, iPad Sales

By Frank Yu
Frank Yu
Frank Yu
January 24, 2012 Updated: January 26, 2012

NEW YORK—Amid doubts, Apple Inc. delivered another knockout quarter. Apple blew past analyst expectations, posting fiscal first-quarter profits, which were more than double the results from the same period in 2010.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company—in its first earnings release since former Chairman Steve Jobs’s passing—experienced better-than-expected demand for its iPhone and iPad devices during the holiday shopping season last month.

Apple said that it sold 37 million iPhone smartphones and 15.4 million iPad tablet computers, figures, which were better than already high expectations from industry watchers and Wall Street analysts.

Profits surged to $13.1 billion, Apple said on Tuesday, translating to $13.87 per common share. Topline revenues were $46.3 billion for the quarter, an increase of 73 percent compared to last year’s first quarter.

The company’s results followed a rare earnings miss last quarter. Last Oct. 4, CEO Tim Cook announced the iPhone 4S, which disappointed some technology pundits who expected a 4G iPhone 5. That event juxtaposed the pace at which rivals Samsung, HTC, and Motorola Mobility have introduced newer Google Android-based smartphones, and led some analysts to openly question Apple’s ability to sustain its growth.

Higher Forecasts

But those doubts were proven to be unfounded. On Tuesday, Apple raised its forecast for fiscal second quarter 2012, projecting revenues of $32.5 billion, which was ahead of consensus estimates of $32.1 billion according to analysts polled by Reuters.

“Apple’s momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline,” said CEO Tim Cook in a statement. Cook, the company’s former chief operating officer, took over the reins as the company’s chief executive after Jobs stepped down last August.

The company’s recent successes have led to a large cash coffer of more than $100 billion on its balance sheet as of Dec. 31, 2011. In a conference call with analysts on Tuesday, CFO Peter Oppenheimer remarked, “We are actively discussing uses of the cash balance but have nothing to announce.”

Apple shares jumped Tuesday evening, up over 7 percent to $451 in after hours trading. If current share prices hold, Apple is once again looking to surpass Exxon Mobil as the largest corporation in the world in terms of market capitalization on Wednesday.

Frank Yu