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Friday, October 26, 2012
Apple Reports Record Fourth Quarter Revenue and Profit

Apple's shares dipped despite the the company's 27 percent rise in fourth-quarter revenue and a 24 percent increase in earnings, as investors were expecting more.

Shares bounced back after CEO Tim Cook told analysts on a conference call that the latest iPhone 5 was heavily backlogged but the company had mostly worked out kinks in its supply chain.

Apple announced financial results for its fiscal 2012 fourth quarter ended September 29, 2012. The company posted quarterly revenue of $36.0 billion and quarterly net profit of $8.2 billion, or $8.67 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $28.3 billion and net profit of $6.6 billion, or $7.05 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 40.0 percent compared to 40.3 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 60 percent of the quarter's revenue.

Apple sold 26.9 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 58 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. Apple had struggled to deliver large quantities of the iPhone 5 since its launch in late September, with the waitlist for the device at one point stretching to three weeks in some regions.

"Our supply output is significantly higher than it was earlier in October," Cook said, referring to the iPhone 5. "And I'm confident we'll be able to supply quite a few during the quarter."

Apple also sold 14.0 million iPads during the quarter, a 26 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. iPad sales were well below lowered forecasts for the tablet as the economy remained weak and consumers awaited the iPad mini, which will hit store shelves next month. Rival Samsung sold 56.3 million smartphones in the quarter, according to research firm IDC, giving it 31.3 percent global market share, more than double that of Apple.

Mac sales reached the 4.9 million, a 1 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter.

Sales of iPods were lower by 19% from the year-ago quarter.

Apple's Board of Directors has declared a cash dividend of $2.65 per share of the company's common stock.

"We're very proud to end a fantastic fiscal year with record September quarter results," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We're entering this holiday season with the best iPhone, iPad, Mac and iPod products ever, and we remain very confident in our new product pipeline."

"We're pleased to have generated over $41 billion in net income and over $50 billion in operating cash flow in fiscal 2012," said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's CFO. "Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2013, we expect revenue of about $52 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $11.75."

Apple's strengths will be tested during the year-end holiday shopping season, with gadgets from Amazon.com, Google and Microsoft to threaten Apple's position in the tablet market. Of course, Apple expects increased sales for its refreshed product lines - the fourth-generation full-sized iPad and the iPad mini.

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