Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Apple Posts Surge in Sales and Profit, but Margins Slip

Have you ever noticed how "bad news" from Apple is almost always news that any other corporate board would die for? NYTimes.com:
SAN FRANCISCO — Strong sales of iPads, iPhones and even Mac computers produced record revenue and profit for Apple in its fourth quarter.

It was not enough, however, to sustain Wall Street’s exuberance for the consumer electronics company that has seemed to do everything right in analysts’ eyes. The company’s shares fell about 6 percent in after-hours trading on Monday after the company announced its results.

Apple said that it sold 14.1 million iPhones in the quarter, ended Sept. 25, an increase of 91 percent from a year earlier. Consumers bought 4.2 million iPads, the tablet computer it introduced in April. Mac sales totaled 3.9 million, up 27 percent.

But buried among quarterly results that any company would be more than happy to emulate was a decline in gross profit margins. Investors disliked the small blemish, sending Apple’s shares down. ...

Apple’s success has helped to propel its shares up over the last year, to close on Monday in regular trading at $318, a high.

Otherwise, analysts remained enthusiastic about Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif. Indeed, it was a quarter that highlighted the company’s dominance in consumer electronics. The company said net income for the quarter rose 70 percent, to $4.31 billion, or $4.64 a share, from $2.53 billion, or $2.77 a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 67 percent, to $20.34 billion, from $12.21 billion. ...