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April 24, 2012

An Apple a Day Keeps Shareholders Happy, or Does It?

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor

Today, tech giant Apple (News - Alert) released its financial results for Q2 2012 which ended March 31, 2012 and analysts were anxiously awaiting what was forecasted to be slightly disappointing highlights that were sure to come as the company’s share price has gone downhill these past weeks, by almost 10 percent. And just today, the stock dove another two percent. 

As some in the industry worried their original Apple predictions could be too high, it is important to note that this quarter the revamped iPad, version 3, make its debut and ultimately smashed previous sales records. Moreover, the iPhone (News - Alert) is now touted as comprising half of all smartphone sales on Verizon’s network.

“If (Apple) further disappoints the stock could still take a hit, and that's going to put pressure on all the indexes," Rick Bensignor, chief market strategist at Merlin Securities in New York said in a statement. "The S&P has held support above 1,360. People are hoping that Apple can save the day."

Brian Gilis, an analyst at BGC added, “Apple needs to smash records to keep momentum.”

Well it certainly looks like it did some much needed smashing, as the company reported that its net profit increased an astounding 94 percent year-over-year. Revenue for the quarter was $39.2 billion, as opposed to $36.8 billion which was originally thought by analysts. Quarterly net profit came in at $11.6 billion, totaling around $12.30 a share which rose from $10.06 in the same quarter last year. Further, gross margin was 47.4 percent compared to 41.4 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 64 percent of the quarter's revenue.

Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s senior vice president and chief financial officer stated, “I am very pleased to release the results of our outstanding second fiscal quarter, which is the largest March quarter record and earnings ever for iPad and Mac products. In addition, the iTunes store generated 1.9 billion in sales, an increase of 35 percent year over-year due to sales of music, apps and video."

The technology extraordinaire sold 35.1 million iPhones in the quarter, representing an 88 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter in addition to 11.8 million iPads during the quarter, a 151 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. Apple also sold 4 million Macs during the quarter, a 7 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter and 7.7 million iPods, a 15 percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter. Perhaps more people are realizing who needs an iPod if you have an iPhone?

"We're thrilled with sales of over 35 million iPhones and almost 12 million iPads in the March quarter," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO in a press release. "The new iPad is off to a great start, and across the year you're going to see a lot more of the kind of innovation that only Apple can deliver."

“Customers are loving the new iPad with its retina display and 5 megapixel camera. Now available in over 40 countries, we saw sales more than double in each of our segments. The education segment is continuing to boom and a San Diego school purchased 10,000 of them in the March quarter with plans to purchase over 15,000 more in June. The iPad continues to open doors to new customers with whom Apple previously had no relationship with,” Oppenheimer commented.

It looks like despite the incessant worrying, the Apple tree will be bearing fruit for a long time to come.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli
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