To call revenues of £18 billion for a single three-month
period “disappointing” is a little disingenuous but considering it Apple we’re
talking about, analysts can just about get away with it.
In the last few earnings calls, Apple has consistently
outperformed analysts’ expectations and so it seems as if Wall Street has
cottoned on and boosted expectations for the Q4 results just announced by
The company sold just over 17 million iPhones during the three months
to the end of September, 3m short of the 20m figure expected. The
reason for this can be put down to boosted analyst expectations and customers holding out for the launch of the
latest iPhone, which went on sale last week.
These sales will be included in the next quarter’s results
and if initial reports are anything to go by, Apple could be back to smashing
expectations again in three months time.
However, it was not all doom and gloom for the
Cupertino-based company, with the company selling 11m iPads in the
period, slightly ahead of expectations. It also sold 4.89m Macs in the three
months, a 26 per cent unit increase over the same period last year.
“We are thrilled with the very strong finish of an
outstanding fiscal 2011, growing annual revenue to $108 billion and growing
earnings to $26 billion,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Customer response to
iPhone 4S has been fantastic, we have strong momentum going into the holiday
season, and we remain really enthusiastic about our product pipeline.” Cook
made reference to the recent death of Steve Jobs saying the co-founder will
“forever be the foundation of Apple.”
The company posted quarterly revenue of $28.27bn and
quarterly net profit of $6.62bn, or $7.05 per diluted share. These results
compare favourably with the same period last year when it reported revenue of $20.34bn and
net quarterly profit of $4.31bn, or $4.64 per diluted share. This is a huge 53
per cent rise in quarterly profits.
However, what was probably the most interesting aspect of
the latest earnings call from Apple was its predictions of revenue for next quarter.
According to the company it will have a $37bn quarter with
an earnings per share of $9.30, with the calculations based on the boost in iPhone
sales expected from the iPhone 4S and the upcoming Christmas period. Considering Apple always underestimates its earnings, we could be looking at a $40bn quarter.