Apple posted quarterly revenue of $39.2 billion and quarterly net profit of $11.6 billion, or $12.30 per share (an increase of 94% in net income). These results compare to revenue of $24.7 billion and net profit of $6.0 billion, or $6.40 per diluted share, for the same quarter in 2011. Apple’s Gross margin was 47.4% (the best ever) compared to 41.4% in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 64% of the quarter’s revenue.
Apple sold 35.1 million iPhones in the quarter, 88% unit growth over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 11.8 million iPads during the quarter, a 151% unit increase over the year-ago quarter. And they sold 4 million Macs during the quarter, a 7% unit increase over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 7.7 million iPods, a 15% unit decline from the year-ago quarter.
“Our record March quarter results drove $14 billion in cash flow from operations,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the third fiscal quarter, we expect revenue of about $34 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $8.68.” Don’t be surprised to see Apple significantly beat these numbers, they usually provide “estimates” that are far bellow what results turn out to be.
Apple built their cash stockpile to over $110 billion. Even paying the dividend that they have announced, they are going to be building their cash stockpile going forward without some amazingly large purchases. The announced dividend will cost Apple about $10 billion annually. I wish Apple would increase the dividend. They have also announced a plan to repurchase about $10 billion in stock starting in about 6 months. That would be a huge commitment for most companies, for Apple it seems to be about 2 months of cash the business will generate. I worry they will make foolish purchases just because having that much sitting in the bank makes it so easy.
The results are again fantastic. Apple’s stock price, relative to earnings, continues to be very reasonable (even cheap). Increases in the stock price have been more than outpaced by profit growth. It does seems profit growth has to slow, and likely dramatically (of course it seemed incredibly unreasonable to expect increases of even 33% of what Apple has done in the last 3 years). The stock price is not expensive, even if earnings growth collapsed, which it isn’t expected to do in the next year. On fundamental factors the stock remains very attractive.
The biggest risk is that when so much has gone so right for Apple for so long aren’t they poised to suffer some major setbacks? I can accept the case for a dramatic slowing in earning for the iPhone, which is their primary driver of earnings. It is hardly certain but there is this potential. I don’t foresee significant actual declines (earning less in 2013 than 2012, for example). But even assuming no growth in iPhone profits from 2013 to 2016 at this price Apple seems to be a good investment (and few expect no growth for iPhone earning for that period). iPhone sales now account for 58% of Apple’s revenue; three years ago, they totaled 27% of revenue.
Other areas should be strong in 2012, 2013 and beyond: iPads, Macs, iTunes and App sales. And everyone is expecting some huge new product or products. The leading candidate is a new Apple TV that actually makes a big move into the market. The stock price doesn’t even need some big new product but if it comes that is just more reason to be positive on Apple as an investment.
I don’t see any signs of troubles brewing. The only reason to be nervous is that it seems crazy that such extraordinary success on such a huge scale can continue. That can explain being nervous but it doesn’t justify missing out on this attractive investment.
Related: Apple’s Impossibly Good Quarter – The Economy is Weak and Prospects May be Grim, But Many Companies Have Rosy Prospects (Sept 2011) – Leadership quotes from Steve Jobs – Intel Reports Their Best Quarter Ever (March 2010) – 12 stocks for 10 years portfolio