Apple, Selling 3.5M iPhones Per Week, Nets $13B Q1 Profit

The world's most profitable company posted record quarterly revenue of $54.5 billion and quarterly net profit of $13.1 billion. All of this selling took place in a mere 13-week period.

If you're a company selling 3.5 million iPhones and 1.7 million iPads per week, it's safe to say you'll have good news for your stockholders come quarterly report time.

This was precisely the case Jan. 23, when Apple revealed its first-quarter 2013 financial results. The world's most profitable company posted record quarterly revenue of $54.5 billion and quarterly net profit of $13.1 billion, resulting in a whopping $13.81 per stock share. All of this took place in a mere 13-week period.

Apple's report follows by one day its rival Google's record quarterly numbers, in which the search giant became the first primarily Web-based company to break the $50 billion mark in annual revenue. Google also makes the Android operating system for mobile devices, which currently dominate world markets and compete head to head with Apple's iPhone.

A year ago, Apple posted quarterly revenue of $46.3 billion and net profit of $13.1 billion in what worked out to a 14-week quarter. Gross margin in the latest report was 38.6 percent compared with 44.7 percent in Q1 2012. International sales accounted for 61 percent of quarterly revenue.

Despite the glossy numbers, hard-to-satisfy Wall Street wasn't overly pleased. Apple missed the Street's revenue forecast for the third straight quarter because iPhone sales, despite the solid numbers, came in just below expectations. Apple said it shipped a record 47.8 million iPhones in Q1, which was up 29 percent from the year-ago period but below the 50 million that analysts had expected to see.

The stock fell 10 percent to $463 after the closing bell, evaporating about $50 billion in company market value in only a short time after it closed at $514 per share.

Weekly Revenue Surpasses $4 Billion

Average weekly revenue was a whopping $4.2 billion in Q1 2013 compared with $3.3 billion a year ago, Apple said.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based device maker and Web services provider also sold a record 22.9 million iPads during the quarter, compared with 15.4 million in Q1 2012.

Among other products, Apple's sales of PCs continue to slip along with the rest of the world market. The company sold 4.1 million Macintosh PCs, compared with 5.2 million in the year-ago quarter. Apple also sold 12.7 million iPods in the quarter, compared with 15.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

Apple's iPhone 5 sales in the United States far outdistance sales in foreign countries, which are dominated by Android devices made by Samsung, LG, HTC and numerous other handset makers. Apple CEO Tim Cook, however, wasn't fazed by a Morgan Stanley analyst on a conference call with analysts and journalists, who questioned whether Apple has the right screen sizes and price points to capture non-U.S. demand.

Cook Pleased with All iPhone Salesand Why Not?

"Sequentially, we increased by 70 percent over the previous September quarter. We could not be happier with that," Cook said in sidestepping the question. "In terms of the geographic distribution, we saw our highest growth in China, and it was into the triple digits. I would characterize it as we're extremely pleased."

Apple also provided guidance for its fiscal 2013 second quarter that included revenue estimates of between $41 billion and $43 billion, gross margin between 37.5 percent and 38.5 percent, and operating expenses between $3.8 billion and $3.9 billion.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...