All eyes were on Apple (AAPL) today, more so than usual anyway, as the iPhone and iPad maker announced its quarterly earnings for Q1, the first full period under the leadership of new CEO Tim Cook. After posting Q4 results that disappointed Wall Street estimates, investors were on edge to see how Apple could respond and move forward without Steve Jobs. So how did the company fare?
They crushed it.
For Q1 of 2012, Apple reported a net profit of $13.06 billion, or $13.87 per share, more than doubling the $6 billion, or $6.43 per share, a year ago. Analysts were expecting net profit of $10.16 per share for the quarter. Revenue skyrocketed by 73 percent to $46.33 billion, crushing Wall Street expectations of $38.91 billion.
The company had a record-breaking quarter with iPhone sales hitting over 37 million for the quarter, which is double the amount it sold last quarter as well as Q1 of 2011. Apple is also threatening to overtake Samsung as the largest smartphone maker in the world. The company also doubled its sale of iPads to over 15 million. Shares of Apple jumped 7.7 percent in after hours trading, and could push the company past Exxon Mobil (XOM) once again as the largest company in the world when trading resumes tomorrow.
What's Cookin' at Apple
The most encouraging sign for Apple is the fact that it still has a lot of room to grow in both the U.S. and other developed economies. Sales in the Americas jumped 90 percent and rose 55 percent in Europe.
"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," said Hendi Susanto at Gabelli & Co. "I would say Apple still has many unpenetrated international markets ... Apple is still far from its saturation."
Apple also provided guidance for Q2, that were beat Wall Street estimates. The company said it expects revenue of about $32.5 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $8.50.
iPhone 5 in 2012?
While many of the Apple faithful were disappointed when the company unveiled a slightly improved iPhone 4S instead of the much-anticipated, overhauled iPhone 5, added features like the automated voice controlled personal assistant "Siri" helped to keep Apple in the eye of most trendsetters.
With a few major milestones in the coming year, Apple doesn't seem to be slowing down either. The company's iPhone 4 is expected to debut in China in the coming months, and an iPhone 5 is expected to be introduced by year's end. But as old competitors like Research in Motion (RIMM), which continues to fall by the wayside, and new competitors like Amazon.com (AMZN) step up to the plate, the question remains whether or not the operational genius Cook has enough innovative and creative artillery at the company to keep Apple one step ahead of the rest of the field.
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