Earnings: Apple’s Forecast Is Foggy Due To Economy; Sold 6.9 Million iPhones In Q4 To Beat RIM


Apple’s shares have slid more than 50 percent since the beginning of the year, and going forward, Apple’s forecast is particularly foggy with CEO Steve Jobs admitting he doesn’t know “how this economic downturn will effect Apple.” The company posted revenues of $7.9 billion compared to the $8.02 billion that analysts expected. Net profits of $1.14 billion, or $1.26 a share, exceeded expectations of $1.10. In the year ago period, the company earned $904 million, or $1.01, on $6.22 billion in revenues.

In breaking out its consumer products, Apple said it shipped 2,611,000 Macs, a 21 percent jump over the year-ago quarter; it sold 11.05 million iPods, an eight percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter; and sold 6,892,000 iPhones, representing a 516 percent growth rate. Jobs: “Apple just reported one of the best quarters in its history, with a spectacular performance by the iPhone — we sold more phones than RIM…We don’t yet know how this economic downturn will affect Apple (NSDQ: AAPL). But we’re armed with the strongest product line in our history, the most talented employees and the best customers in our industry. And $25 billion of cash safely in the bank with zero debt.”

Worth pointing out is that Apple usually gives a low-ball forecast, so that it can easily exceed its own estimates, but quarterly results this time just barely came in above the predicted $1 a share on $7.8 billion in sales. However, the results don’t factor in revenues from Apple TV and the iPhone, which are spread out over the lifetime of the devices. To draw a clearer picture of results, for the first time, and now going forward, Apple will report non-GAAP results that factor in iPhone sales. When you add those revenues in to GAAP results, Apple’s sales jump by $3.8 billion and net income increased by $1.3 billion, which more than doubles GAAP results.

Release | Earnings Call.

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