There's Rich, There's Stupid Rich, and Then There's Apple

The numbers are in. Apple (NAS: AAPL) booked $13.87 a share in profits on $46.33 billion in revenue. Wall Street was expecting $10.14 a share of profit on $39.16 billion in revenue, according to Data provided by S&P Capital IQ.

Somewhere, the late Steve Jobs is smiling.

For the most part, Fools and analysts were expecting this sort of performance because we've seen it before. Last quarter's minor miss is a rounding error when observed through the lens of history. Wall Street is more often than not punked when it comes to estimating Apple's results.

And not just on the top and bottom lines. Analysts tend to vary widely in their estimates of iPhones, iPads, and Macs sold. Here's how they fared in Apple's fiscal first quarter:

Product

Actual

Projected

Last Year

Y-o-Y Growth

iPhones sold 37.04 million 30.25 million 16.235 million 128.1%
iPads sold 15.43 million 13.29 million 7.331 million 110.5%
Macs sold 5.2 million 5.09 million 4.134 million 25.8%

Sources: Fortune magazine, SEC filings, Apple press release.

Interestingly, Apple beat a Morgan Stanley estimate from December that projected as many as 36 million iPhones sold. And that's in a quarter in which Samsung made waves for introducing a genuinely good Android alternative in the Galaxy Nexus. Eat that, Google (NAS: GOOG) .

Yet as good as the product results were, 97 is the number Apple investors should focus on. According to its balance sheet, the Mac maker ended the first quarter with:

  • $10.3 billion in cash.
  • $19.8 billion in short-term securities.
  • $67.4 billion in long-term securities.

That's $97 billion in mostly liquid tangible assets and no debt, which means Apple's bank account is about to become a $100 billion company. And you thought only Donald Trump was stupid rich.

Finally, will someone please pass these results to new Research In Motion (NAS: RIMM) chief executive Thorsten Heins? Drastic changes are needed, sir. The data above reveals in black and white what the rest of us have long known: the iPhone is eating the BlackBerry's lunch. Do something about it or sell RIM to someone who can.

Apple's undoubtedly an absolute all-star, but many investors don't realize the number of other companies benefiting from the very same drivers that sent Apple's stock into the stratosphere. Fortunately, the Fool recently compiled a research report detailing three stocks positioned to profit from the rise of smartphones and tablets. It's yours free, but only for a limited time, so take a look today.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He owned shares of Apple and Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's Web home, portfolio holdings, and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Google+ or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple and Google and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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