Apple may have missed Wall Street's sales expectations this quarter in most of their product divisions, but the millions of iStuff they did move was good for $28 billion revenue, $6.6 billion profit, and the continued good health of Cupertino 401ks.
That doesn't mean it wasn't a disappointment for analysts, who had projected Apple to sell far more iPhones (22 million expected versus 17 million sold) and Macs (4.89 million expected versus 4.5 million sold). But in previous summer quarters Apple's iPhone sales had been bolstered by the introduction of a new device; it's likely that this year everyone was waiting on the iPhone 4S. Given that Apple spent much of the quarter hyping what was coming this month (namely iOS 5, iCloud and, by inference, iPhone 4S), and the fact that the Apple sold four million 4S handsets in its first weekend of availability seems to indicate that's the most likely scenario.
And it's not like Apple didn't do extremely well in a rough economy; 17 million iPhones is a 21% increase over the same period a year ago, and the company more than doubled its iPad sales.
The company will be holding a call to discuss earnings tonight at 5pm EST; we'll be on the call and updating as warranted.
Apple Reports Fourth Quarter Results
All-Time Record Mac and iPad Sales
Highest September Quarter Revenue and Earnings Ever
CUPERTINO, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2011 fourth quarter ended September 24, 2011. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $28.27 billion and quarterly net profit of $6.62 billion, or $7.05 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $20.34 billion and net quarterly profit of $4.31 billion, or $4.64 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 40.3 percent compared to 36.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 63 percent of the quarter's revenue.
"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."
The Company sold 17.07 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 21 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 11.12 million iPads during the quarter, a 166 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. The Company sold 4.89 million Macs during the quarter, a 26 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 6.62 million iPods, a 27 percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter.
"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."
"We are extremely pleased with our record September quarter revenue and earnings and with cash generation of $5.4 billion during the quarter," said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's CFO. "Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2012, which will span 14 weeks rather than 13, we expect revenue of about $37 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share of about $9.30."
Apple will provide live streaming of its Q4 2011 financial results conference call beginning at 2:00 p.m. PDT on October 18, 2011 at www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/earningsq411. This webcast will also be available for replay for approximately two weeks thereafter.