The much awaited AAPL earnings came and unlike previous product launch quarters, it was a mixed picture.
On one hand, both revenues and EPS beat, with AAPL reporting Q4 sales of $51.5 billion, above the $51.0 billion expected, resulting in EPS of $1.96, above the consensus forecast of $1.88.
Apple also achieved a higher than expected gross margin of 39.9%, beating expectations of 39.3%, and above last quarter's 39.7%.
That was great news; the not so great news was that iPhone sales of 48.05 million missed expectations of 48.5 million, while iPad shipments, now largely cannibalized by the iPhone Plus, not only missed expectations of 10.2 million sales, but declined by 1 million from last quarter's 10.9 million to 9.9 million.
Likewise, the geographic breakdown left a bit to be desired, mostly out of China, which at $12.5 billion in sales, dropped notably from last quarter's $13.2 billion, however this was offset by an increase in US sales from $20.2 billion to $21.8 billion, and while Europe was largely flat at $10.6 billion, there was a notable boost out of Japan, where revenues rose by $1 billion from $2.9 billion to $3.9 billion.
The forecast given by apple about the holiday quarter was as follows:
- revenue between $75.5 billion and $77.5 billion, Consensus est. $77.1 billion
- gross margin between 39 percent and 40 percent
- operating expenses between $6.3 billion and $6.4 billion
- other income/(expense) of $400 million
- tax rate of 26.2 percent
Finally, the number everyone is mostly fascinated by, AAPL's gross cash rose once more, hitting a record $206 billion, up from $203 billion the quarter prior...
... however much of this was offset by the increase in AAPL's debt position, which also rose to a new record high of $65 billion, implying that AAPL's net cash has remained largely flat for the past 3 years at just around $140 billion.
The machines are in charge of AAPL stock after-hours as high and low stops have been run and now it is fading off the highs...