Thursday, January 29, 2015

'Staggering' iPhone Demand Helps Lift Apple's Quarterly Profit by 38 Percent

So, Apple's pretty much the top titan of the titans of 21st century industry.

At WSJ, "Profit Hits $18 Billion as 74.5 Million iPhones Are Sold":
Apple Inc. surpassed even the most bullish Wall Street expectations for its holiday quarter with an improbable trifecta: selling more iPhones at higher prices—and earning more on each sale.

The Cupertino, Calif., company said it sold 74.5 million iPhones in the quarter, 46% above a year earlier, while lifting the average selling price of the devices by $50 from the prior year. The total equates to more than 34,000 phones an hour, around the clock.

“Demand for iPhone was staggering,” Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook told analysts. “This volume is hard to comprehend.”

Results were remarkable, even for a company that has increased revenue more than tenfold in the past decade. They recalled the Steve Jobs heyday when iPhone demand routinely topped forecasts. In some ways, the gains are more impressive because Apple today faces many more competitors and because smartphone growth is thought to be slowing.

Consumers snapped up Apple’s two new larger-display phones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which made their debut in September, after years in which Apple ceded the large smartphone market to rivals. Apple encountered supply shortages for weeks in traditional strongholds like the U.S., as well as faster-growing markets like China.

pple had predicted that the new iPhones would prompt many existing customers to upgrade. Mr. Cook said in an interview that Apple also is luring customers from smartphone manufacturers that use Google Inc. ’s Android operating system.

“We brought on more new people to iPhone than ever before,” Mr. Cook said. “Many of those are switching from Android, and we couldn’t be happier about that.”

Apple posted net of $18.0 billion for its fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 27, up 38% from $13.1 billion in the same period a year earlier. That is more than 435 of the companies in the S&P 500 index each made in total profits since 2009, according to S&P Capital IQ.

Earnings per share rose more sharply, up 48% to $3.06 from a split-adjusted $2.07, because of Apple’s share buyback program. Revenue increased 30% to $74.6 billion from $57.6 billion.

The results soared past analysts’ expectations. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters estimated that Apple would post earnings of $2.60 a share on revenue of $67.7 billion...