Since Steve Jobs’ passing away, Apple investors have been concerned that the company will lose its ranking in the market. However, the quarterly results confirm that with Tim Cook in charge, the company is on the right track. On top of that, Apple’s 4Q profits exceeded Wall Street’s estimates.
In October last year, Apple was coming out short on analysts’ estimates for the first time in years. The company blamed the poor results on the later release of the iPhone 4S, but investors and analysts worried that may be just the beginning.
However, fourth quarter results show that Apple is on the right track, as the company’s profits have exceeded Wall Street’s estimates and set a new record. Apple reported record net profits of $13.06 billion, significantly higher than what analysts were hoping for. The company made a profit of $13.87 per share, as compared to the estimate of $10.07 per share.
Apple ended the fourth quarter with record revenues of $46.3 billion and nearly $100 billion cash in hand. The results place Apple among the high earners of all industries, such as Exxon Mobil Corp and Gazprom OAO.
During the quarter, the company sold 37.04 million iPhones and 15.43 million iPad tablets, marking a raving holiday season. In fact, the sales have doubled compared to one year earlier. Sales were particularly strong in the United States as a lot of users have waited for the iPhone 4S.
Analysts see the results as confirmation that with Tim Cook in charge, Apple is going to be just fine. Gene Munster, analyst at Piper Jaffray Cos., said that “the momentum that Steve Jobs created, Tim Cook is maintaining. We kind of run out of adjectives to describe this quarter”.
Hendi Susanto at Gabelli & Co told Reuters that “going into 2012, I expect strength of iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad should carry on into the year. Apple still has some tailwind, including opening up new retail stores and expanding its distribution channels”.
Michael Obuchowski, chief investment officer at First Empire Asset Management, thinks the numbers Apple pulled off “are just unimaginable”. He said: “It’s still an extremely well-managed company and they are showing that the product pipeline is sufficient even now to generate growth rates that are unrivaled”.