Apple posts monster profits




    Those who were worried for Apple’s future after Steve Jobs demise can take comfort, Apple has just posted quarterly results which take it into unchartered territory in profitability.

    In its earnings call today, Apple said it had sold over 37.04 million iPhones, and 15.43 million iPads, well ahead of even inflated estimates by the trade press.

    The iPhone numbers indicate that Apple doubled the number of iPhones sold last quarter, after the introduction of the iPhone 4S. And the iPad sales have gained a whopping 4 million, last quarter Apple had sold 11 million iPads.

    Apple reported a net profit of $13.06 billion, or $13.87 a share, beating average Street forecast of $10.16 per share by a good margin of over $3 dollars. To understand how ginormous that profit, consider this, Apple made a billion dollars in profit every week. Apple’s profits for the last year has jumped 73% to $46.33 billion, which was well ahead of analysts’ estimates.

    The company now has cash reserves of about a $100 billion, which is enough to fill the US deficit for December.

    During the earnings call, Apple was questioned on what it planned to do with all that money. Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said that the company was actively discussing what to do with that money, but had no announcements to make. Analysts feel Apple should offer dividends or a share buyback to pass on some of the value to investors.

    “We’re thrilled with our outstanding results and record-breaking sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs,” Apple new CEO Tim Cook said. “Apple’s momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline.” Apple is set to introduce the next version of its iPad and iPhone this year.

    The last quarter had been somewhat crimped, after sales took a slight hit as buyers waited for Apple to announce its new iPhone.

    Analysts feel that despite the robust earnings, Apple is nowhere near saturation. “Going into 2012, I expect strength of iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad should carry on into the year. Apple still has some tailwind, including opening up new retail stores and expanding its distribution channels,” Hendi Susanto at Gabelli & Co said. “I would say Apple still has many unpenetrated international markets … Apple is still far from its saturation.”