Apple's released the summary of its finances for the first quarter of 2012—the first real quarter when Tim Cook was in power immediately after Steve Jobs's death. The figures are amazing, confounding every analyst expectation, and are records for the company—the world's biggest (when Exxon isn't worth slightly more).
Apple's revenues for the 14 weeks to December 31, 2011 were $46.33 billion, leading to a net profit of $13.06 billion. These, the company states in its press release, are both record-breaking figures: In the same period in 2010 Apple made $6 billion in net profits off $26.74 billion in revenue. That means it's grown its revenues by 73% while at the same time pushing its profit margin up from 38.5% to 44.7%.
In context, a collection of analyst predictions pulled together by Fortune saw independant analysts guessing $43.14 billion, and institutional ones averaging some $39.23 billion. Apple beat these by a significant margin.
Driving this enormous income were sales of 37.04 million iPhones (128% growth over 2010), 15.43 million iPads (111% increase over last year), and 5.2 million iPods (26% up year-on-year). All these figures are records, proving wrong recent speculation Mac sales would be weak. iPods numbering some 15.4 million were sold, but as this market is in decline, thanks to the success of the iPhone and iPad this figure is an expected 21% slip on 2010's figure.
The data for iDevice sales confirms recent guesses that the iPad has achieved much greater penetration in its home U.S. market than before (with overall tablet ownership in the U.S. doubling) and speculation the iPhone may have bitten back significant marketshare from Android. The growth is mainly driven by holiday season sales, and the iPad statistic may be an especially encouraging figure for Apple since the iPad 3 may be only as little as three months away from being on sale.
In perspective the figures amount to an average of 378,000 iPhones and 157,000 iPads every day for the quarter, globally. That's why Apple is now said to be the largest buyer of semiconductor components. And as a reference figure, Apple's quarterly profit beat Google's entire quarterly revenue figure ($10 billion) by almost a third.
Apple also hinted at its expectations for the second quarter, noting the 13-week interval may see revenues of around #32.5 billion and an EPS of around $8.50—figures that are lower than the ones just revealed, but which are expected as the quarter covers the post-holiday buying lull and a period when Apple has no new breakthrough products on sale.
Tim Cook is quoted as saying Apple's "thrilled" with the records, and that he's excited by "amazing new products in the pipeline. The news also highlights that once again Apple has far surpassed city analyst expectations. These are the same financial whizz-kids who were "disappointed" by Apple's previous quarterly results, despite the fact that these too represented significant growth in sales and profitability—features that one normally doesn't expect from such large companies simply due to the hard statistics of business.
Rumors will now explode that by "new products" Cook means a new 15-inch MacBook Air, and perhaps the full-function Apple Television, but whether or not these prove true, the figures represent a stunning success for Apple.
Update: During its earnings press call, Apple released some more statistics, demonstrating its incredibly strong position.
- 315 million cumulative iOS devices sold
- Over 89 million iCloud customers already
- 550,000 apps in the app store (170,000 for iPad alone)
- Over $4 billion paid to app developers (meaning Apple's made $9.3 billion from the same sales)
- Over 22,000 people visited each Apple store each week, on average
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