Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Apple Q4 misses analyst forecasts, but both revenue and net income grow; 11.1 million iPad units sold in quarter

If there is one thing the financial community has in common with the media community, it is that their industry analysts and consultants are equally ridiculous. Whether it is a news consultant packing up their iPad and shipping it back because he considers it useless, or a researcher claiming iPad sales numbers, just tune them out and move on.

It turns out that Apple ended up selling 11.1 million iPads this last quarter, 1.6 million more than in the summer, but not the 13 million units the analyst at Digitimes projected just this morning (don't worry, he'll be back making projections by tomorrow morning).

Right now the financial press is in shock: Apple missed the analyst's earnings forecast (though not its own guidance). Revenue was $28.3 billion, lower than what the analysts expected so, of course, the stock is getting hammered in after hours trading. Strange, since it was the analysts that were wrong, not Apple. Oh well.

So, let's compare Q4 2011 to Q4 2010 and Q4 2009 to see how Apple really did – remember, this last quarter that just ended is their fourth quarter:

Revenue Q4 2009: $12.2 billion
Revenue Q4 2010: $20.3 billion
Revenue Q4 2011: $28.3 billion

Earnings per Share Q4 2009: $2.77
Earnings per Share Q4 2010: $4.64
Earnings per Share Q4 2010: $7.05

When you look at these numbers what do you see? I know what I see. But if investors really want to dump the stock they are more than welcome to do it. I missed out buying AAPL when it was at $14, after all.

Oh, one more thing to note about Apple: they now have $81.6 billion in cash, as well short and long term marketable securities. That is slightly more than TNM has in the bank (but only slightly).