SAN FRANCISCO, 19 OCTOBER 2009 - Apple enjoyed its most profitable quarter ever, as the company set sales marks for both Mac and iPhone sales. The company announced earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter on Monday.
For the quarter ending September 30, Apple reported a net profit of US$1.67 billion, or $1.82 per share, on revenue of $9.87 billion. Those numbers blew away analysts' earnings and revenue estimates of $1.42 a share and $9.2 billion in sales, respectively.
Comparing those numbers to Apple's year-ago figures, quarterly profit rose 46 percent, while earnings per share jumped 44 percent. Revenue increased 25 percent from the September 2008 quarter. At the end of the corner, the company had $34 billion of cash on hand.
For the full 2009 fiscal year, Apple's revenue rose 12 percent while its income increased 18 percent from 2008, according to chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer. Those increases come during what the Apple executive called "extraordinary challenging times" which have done little to slow the company's growth.
"We are thrilled to have sold more Macs and iPhones than in any previous quarter," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a statement accompanying the earnings announcement. "We've got a very strong lineup for the holiday season and some really great new products in the pipeline for 2010."
For the December quarter, Apple told analysts to expect between $11.3 and $11.6 billion in sales and earnings ranging from $1.70 to $1.78 per share. That guidance was given without accounting for a rule change in the way Apple recognizes revenue from the iPhone and Apple TV. Apple was uncertain when it would adopt the new accounting method, which was OK'd by the Financial Accounting Standards Board last month.
To put Apple's December quarter guidance in perspective, the company reported sales of $10.17 billion in last year's fiscal first quarter along with earnings of $1.78 a share.
Apple sold 3.05 million Macs during the quarter--a 17 percent increase over what it sold for the same three-month period in 2008. That 3.05 million figure sets a record for Mac sales, topping the previous high-water mark of 2.61 million Macs sold during the fiscal fourth-quarter of 2008.
Apple continues to reap the rewards of its June overhaul to its line of notebooks, which featured price cuts on nearly every model. The result has been two straight quarters of growth. During the quarter, Apple sold nearly 2.3 million laptops, with portables accounting for an astounding 74 percent of the Macs sold during the last three months.
"Last quarter was the quarter of the portable," chief operating officer Tim Cook said during a Monday conference call to discuss Apple's earnings. In response to one analyst's comment that "the [laptop] price cut worked," Cook responded loudly, "Yes, it did!"
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