20 October, 2009

Apple's Earnings Aftermath

By now the news media has digested the rock-solid quarter from the Steve Jobs-led-innovative bunch in Cupertino, so now its time for the experts to weigh in. First, here's a simple recap of Apple's (AAPL) quarter.

$1.67Billion in profits ($1.82/share) on $9.87Billion in revenue, which compares to $7.9Billion in revenue and $1.14Billion in profits ($1.26/share) a year ago. Considering the street was anticipating $1.42/share, with a whisper number in the $1.60s/share, this is quite the professional thrashing. Even the highest estimate on the street was left in the cold in the $1.70s.

The real kicker here however is when Apple accounts for iPhone sales right away and not under the subscription method. In that instance the company earned $2.85Billion on sales of $12.25Billion. Clearly this company can not be priced based on P/E valuations.

Now for the sales figures.
3.05Million Macs (A new quarterly record)
10.2Million iPods
7.4Million iPhones

All impressive in their own right, considering iPods are by all accounts supposed to be dying off, and iPhone 3GS supply was limited most of the quarter. I'd speculate Apple wants to stock up for the Christmas season now as it steps into its newest market, China. The 3Million Mac number is most impressive, as the company beat its previous quarterly record by 400,000 units, and its not even the Christmas season yet.

Apple has just also announced 2 new iMac desktops, starting at $1200 a newly redesigned entry-level MacBook at $1000, and 3 models of the Mac Mini, setting one of the up to be a home media server type device. This refresh of the desktop line is sure to spur holiday sales into a segment that has been stagnant for sometime as laptops dominate computer sales. In what's still considered a recessionary environment, Apple stands out as a testament to quality, design, innovation and marketing power. The quarterly performance definitely can't be argued with.

The pros had their say before the quarter and the market had its say boosting shares to all time highs over the $202 mark. What do the pros say now? Higher price targets and upgrades galore!

A who's who list of tech analysts that includes firms such as Piper Jaffray, Oppenheimer, RBC, Carris & Co., UBS, Needham & Co. have reiterated, upgraded or raised targets on Apple with UBS being the highest at $280. The love-fest with the electronics maker didn't stop there as targets came in at $277, $275, $260, $235 and so on. Although the numbers the pros give vary, one thing was common-place. Apple is a must-own tech bell-weather.

Just think when they change their accounting! Over the last 4 quarters, non-adjusted profits total $9.77/share vs $6.11/share under GAAP. Roughly a P/E of 20 (now that this calculation makes sense)!

Oh, and the company now keeps 19% of its market cap, about $34Billion in cash in its bank vaults.

Disclosure: Author owns AAPL

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