Apple just had its best-ever financial quarter, posting $74.6 billion in revenue and $18 billion in net profits for the first fiscal quarter of 2015 due to a consumer frenzy of sales of its latest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones, Mac computers and sales of apps and more in the company's App Store.
The $74.6 billion in revenue is a 30 percent increase over the $57.6 billion in revenue that was posted for the same quarter one year ago, while the $18 billion in net profit is up 37 percent from the $13.1 billion net profit that was posted in the same quarter one year ago, according to figures released by Apple after the close of the stock market on Jan. 27.
The record revenue and profit numbers were driven by record sales of iPhones, which were led by the September 2014 release of the company's latest smartphones. Revenue for iPhones in the quarter totaled $51.2 billion, which was up from $32.5 billion for the same quarter one year ago, on sales of 74.5 million iPhones around the world. That was an increase of 46 percent compared to the 51 million iPhones Apple sold one year ago in the same quarter. International sales of Apple devices accounted for 65 percent of the quarter's revenue.
"This was our fastest and most successful roll out ever," Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, said in a call with analysts to deliver the news. "It's amazing to watch and it reminds us that people and great ideas are the reasons we make the things we make."
Cook said that consumer interest in Apple products is at an all-time high, resulting in about 500 million customer visits to Apple stores in the quarter.
"We'd like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter, which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high," Cook said. "Our revenue grew 30 percent over last year to $74.6 billion, and the execution by our teams to achieve these results was simply phenomenal."
Luca Maestri, Apple's CFO, said that earnings-per-share growth for the quarter is up by 48 percent over the same quarter one year ago and that the $33.7 billion in operating cash flow that the company posted during the quarter is an all-time record. "We spent over $8 billion on our capital return program, bringing total returns to investors to almost $103 billion, over $57 billion of which occurred in just the last 12 months," Maestri said.
Based on the Q1 earnings figures, Apple also provided guidance for the second fiscal quarter of 2015, in which it expects to bring in revenue between $52 billion to $55 billion, along with a gross margin between 38.5 percent and 39.5 percent, according to the company.
All signs had been pointing to a spectacular quarter for the company recently. Last week, research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners unveiled its quarterly study about consumer trends in mobile phones and found that Apple's latest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones helped the company capture about 50 percent of the fourth-quarter 2014 smartphone sales in the United States. Apple's sales figures handily beat its closest competitor, Samsung, by a two-to-one margin, according to the report.
Apple's market share for the quarter was 50 percent, followed by 26 percent for Samsung, 11 percent for LG, 4 percent for Motorola and 2 percent for HTC, according to CIRP's figures. Nokia had 2 percent of the sales, while Amazon had 1 percent. Blackberry sales did not even reach 1 percent for the quarter, according to the figures.
Apple's figures were up over the third quarter of 2014 because of the September 2014 launch of the new iPhone 6 devices, according to CIRP. For most of the third quarter, buyers held off buying Apple phones in anticipation of the newest devices, CIRP added.
Earlier in January, data from Counterpoint Research showed that Apple iPhone sales hit a major high point in November 2014, when the company marked 20 million global iPhone sales in one month for the first time. Adding to that success, the company also hit higher-than-expected iPhone sales in Japan and Korea, where new sales records were set for those regions. Counterpoint's Monthly Market Pulse market share data is based on sales data reported by major mass retailers and distributors across 33 different national markets, as well as research and surveys conducted by Counterpoint analysts.
The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones were a big hit during the first weekend of sales in September 2014, when the company sold more than 10 million devices after their debut, setting a new all-time record for first-weekend iPhone sales since the smartphones first hit the market back in June 2007.
The new iPhones include the iPhone 6, with its 4.7-inch Retina HD display, and an even larger iPhone 6 Plus, with its 5.5-inch Retina HD screen. The new devices arrived in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB storage capacities. The new phones include an Apple-designed A8 chip with second-generation 64-bit desktop-class architecture, enhanced iSight and FaceTime HD cameras, and the latest iOS 8 operating system.