What do you get when you take a high-end computer manufacturer, throw in the top smartphone on the market and sprinkle it with 85,000 apps? According to Apple’s fourth-quarter earnings, you get a company with $34 billion in cash and no debt.
As expected, Apple’s recent earnings came out golden, beating its own estimates as well as analysts’ by a country mile. Apple posted revenue of $9.87 billion and a net quarterly profit of $1.67 billion, or $1.82 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $7.9 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.14 billion, or $1.26 per diluted share, in the same quarter of 2008.
The company said international sales accounted for 46 percent of the quarter’s revenue, as Apple adds more international carriers to its list of iPhone outlets. Most recently, China Unicom said it would sell the iPhone in China starting in October, and France Telecom’s Orange will sell the product later this year.
More than 10 million iPods were sold during the quarter, representing an eight percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter. However, Apple sold 7.4 million iPhones in the quarter, representing seven percent unit growth over the same quarter in 2009.
In a transcript of the call posted on Seeking Alpha, Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s senior vice president and CFO, said iPod touch sales were up 100 percent from the year-ago quarter. He went on to say that Apple’s App Store saw a half billion application downloads in the fourth quarter alone.
The iPhone 3GS sold so well the company had trouble keeping it on shelves. “For much of the quarter, most of the countries where we are selling the iPhone 3GS was very low in inventory, as demand outstripped the supply,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s COO.
In a Q&A after the call, Cook was asked about the cause for an increase in air freight costs. Cook was evasive, but from his answer some are inferring that there’s a new product on the way. “What is driving the air freight is we haven’t been able to figure out a way to move the holiday season. We have to get all of these units into the channel for holiday sales. I’m sorry I can’t be more specific than that. You have to have a little bit of fun on these calls,” Cook said.
In early morning trading, Apple’s stock was up nearly five percent to almost $200 per share after Monday’s close of $189 per share.