For a quarter marked by the debut of two new smartphones from Apple — a first for the company — the numbers were slightly better than expected. It reported earnings results of $37.5 billion in revenue, profits of $7.5 billion and earnings per share of $8.67.
Here’s how that translated into devices sales:
- 33.8 million iPhones, well up from the 26.9 million sold a year ago.
- 14.1 million iPads, up from 14.0 million a year go.
- 4.6 million Macs, down slightly from the 4.9 sold a year ago.
Revenue was up slightly from the $36.0 billion earned a year ago, but profits were down from the $8.2 billion and earnings of $8.67 per share in its 2012 fourth quarter. Gross margin was 37 percent compared to 40 percent last year.
The results were good enough to surpass Wall Street’s expectations. On average, analysts were expecting earnings per share of $7.93 and revenue of $36.84 billion.
As mentioned above, this quarter is especially notable because it is the first time Apple has introduced two new phones—the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c—instead of one. However, keep in mind that these numbers only include the first eight days of new iPhone sales. But this is still a significant period, as Apple reported a record-setting 9 million phones sold in their first weekend on sale.
During Apple’s earning’s call following the release of its numbers, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said iPhone sales were ahead of expectations and grew strongly year over year in all geographic segments. He touted customer-satisfaction ratings of 96 percent according to ChangeWave and 92 percent customer loyalty according to Kantar.
Oppenheimer reported even higher customer satisfaction — 99 percent — for the iPad, which also exceeded Apple’s sales expectations. The iPad’s sell-through was roughly equal to its sell-in, with about 4.1 million units of channel inventory. And Oppenheimer is very enthusiastic about iPad performance next quarter: ”I think it’s going to be an iPad Christmas,” he said.
The iPod business, on the other hand, decreased sharply, with with just 3.49 million sold, down 35 percent from 5.3 million units this time last year. But the iTunes Store picked up some of that slack, generating a record $4.4 billion in app sales. And while the global PC marketed decreased by 10 percent, Apple’s iMac sales only saw a 7 percent decline, which was better than expected.
“We had a strong finish to an amazing year… Apple’s business is stronger than ever,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said on the call. Despite this, Apple’s shares fell in after-hours trading, due to sliding margins.
Looking ahead, analysts’ first quarter guidance predicts $13.86 per share on revenue of $55.65 billion. Apple’s own guidance predicts revenue between $55 and $58 billion, with gross margin between 36.5 and 37.5 percent.
This post was updated several times as more information became available.