Important Points to Glean from Apple's Q4 Earnings

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-10-21
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - Important Points to Glean from Apple's Q4 Earnings
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    Important Points to Glean from Apple's Q4 Earnings

    by Don Reisinger
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    2 - Apple's iPhone Sales Are Soaring
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    Apple's iPhone Sales Are Soaring

    Apple's iPhone sales continue to soar. During its fiscal fourth quarter, Apple sold 39.3 million iPhone units, thanks to the company's iPhone 6. During the fourth quarter of 2013, that number was at 33.8 million units. In the fiscal 2014 third quarter, unit sales were 35.2 million worldwide.
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    3 - Apple Is Still Extremely Profitable
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    Apple Is Still Extremely Profitable

    Apple is still an extremely profitable company. During the fiscal fourth quarter, Apple posted a net profit of $8.5 billion on $42.1 billion in revenue. During the same period last year, Apple's profit was at $7.5 billion and revenue was at $37.5 billion. Overall, things appear to be going well for Apple on the financial front.
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    4 - Apple Touts iPhone 6 Sales
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    Apple Touts iPhone 6 Sales

    Apple touted its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales, saying that they've helped the company amount to the "biggest iPhone launch ever." However, in Apple's own press release and extra data announced on Oct. 20, the company did not break out total iPhone 6 sales, deciding instead to lump them all together.
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    5 - International Sales Are Soaring
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    International Sales Are Soaring

    International sales are soaring. According to Apple, the international market now accounts for 60 percent of its revenue, which marginalizes, to some degree, the importance of the United States. Still, it's important to note that the United States is Apple's biggest market, and it doesn't appear it will lose its standing any time soon.
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    6 - iPad Sales Remain a Sore Spot
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    iPad Sales Remain a Sore Spot

    Despite all the good news coming out of Cupertino, it's hard to miss the fact that iPad sales were somewhat sluggish during the fiscal fourth quarter. Apple's iPad sales hit 12.3 million units and $5.3 billion in revenue. During the previous quarter, sales topped 13.3 million units, while the fourth quarter last year saw unit sales hit 14 million units. Unit and revenue sales were down 13 percent and 14 percent, respectively, from the prior year.
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    7 - iPod? What iPod?
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    iPod? What iPod?

    The iPod is slowly but surely becoming a less-important device in Apple's product mix. The music player could only muster 2.6 million unit sales during the fiscal fourth quarter, down 24 percent from the 3.5 million units Apple sold last year. What's worse, Apple's revenue slid 28 percent compared with the prior year.
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    8 - China Is Surprisingly Stagnating
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    China Is Surprisingly Stagnating

    China might be one of the most important markets for Apple, but it's not actually performing all that well for the company. Revenue in Greater China hit $5.8 billion during the fiscal fourth quarter, up just 1 percent from the $5.7 billion in revenue Apple posted in the prior year. In the fiscal third quarter, sales in China were $5.9 billion.
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    9 - Americas Sales Continue to Be Strongest
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    Americas Sales Continue to Be Strongest

    The Americas continue to play a crucial role in Apple's ability to deliver to shareholders such massive profits. During the fiscal fourth quarter, revenue hit $16.2 billion in that operating segment, jumping 17 percent from the same period last year. Those sales were also up 11 percent from the third quarter.
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    10 - Retail Stores Are Flying High
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    Retail Stores Are Flying High

    Apple's retail stores continue to fly high, according to the company's financial results. Apple's retail business generated $5.1 billion in revenue during the fiscal fourth quarter, representing a 25 percent gain from the third quarter and a 15 percent jump from last year's fourth quarter. Apple's retail stores are a sales juggernaut.
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    11 - Apple's iTunes Still a Force to Be Reckoned With
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    Apple's iTunes Still a Force to Be Reckoned With

    Although Apple doesn't typically spend much time talking about iTunes, it's vastly important to the company. In fact, during the last-reported quarter, Apple's iTunes operation generated $4.6 billion in sales, jumping 8 percent year-over-year. It was also up 3 percent from the fiscal third quarter of 2014.
 

Apple is a cash-generating juggernaut. The company announced its fiscal fourth-quarter results on Oct. 20, and once again, its earnings beat analyst expectations. Higher revenue and higher profit compared to the prior year combined to make some Apple investors believe that the good times keep rolling in Cupertino and there's no slowing the company down. While that might be the case, there are some positive and negative notes in Apple's latest financial results announcement. While some things do appear to be rosy in Apple land, there are others that might strike fear in the hearts of investors hoping to see the company's shares jump. Apple at once looks impenetrable and vulnerable in its latest earnings launch, and it's important that that dichotomy is clearly outlined. That said, it's important to note that any evaluation of Apple's financial performance is a look back and not a look forward, and things can change dramatically. But if anything is clear, it's that Apple still has some work to do when it comes to staying atop the hardware space. Read on to learn more about Apple's earnings for the three-month period ended Sept. 27.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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