7 Numbers That Apple Investors Need to Know


Apple revenueAfter seeing its stock fall in 10 of the past 11 trading sessions, Apple (AAPL) is reminding investors why it's the world's most valuable publicly traded company.

Apple delivered blowout quarterly results on Tuesday night. Revenue climbed 59% to $39.2 billion, and earnings per share nearly doubled to $12.30 a share. Analysts were only expecting a profit of $10.06 a share on $36.8 million in revenue.

There's always plenty to chew on in an Apple report, but let's boil this down to the numbers that matter beyond the top- and bottom-line performance.

Here are the seven numbers that Apple investors should keep in mind as they assess Apple's blowout quarter.

• $8.68
Why does Apple even bother insulting investors by providing lowball guidance? The company topped off its strong report by forecasting revenue of $34 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $8.68 for the new quarter.

Novice investors would get worried about that. Analysts are expecting a profit of $9.93 a share on $37.4 billion in revenue for the three months ending in June.

However, real Apple aficionados know that the class act of Cupertino loves to underestimate itself.

• 12.6
Based on Apple's close at $560.28 on Tuesday -- before its earnings-related pop -- the company was fetching just 12.6 times this fiscal year's projected profitability of $44.47 a share.

Look ahead to fiscal 2013, which begins in less than six months, and Apple's earnings multiple shrinks to less than 11. Apple may be this generation's growth stock, but sometimes it feels like the mother of all value stocks.

• 4.1 million
Where art thou, halo effect? Apple sold 4.1 million Macs during the quarter, just 7% ahead of where it was last year. PC sales in general have been sluggish, and Apple can rightfully argue that it may be the culprit. A lot of people that would normally buy cheap laptops to surf the Web, check email, and stream media are now buying iPads and other tablets.

The scary thing about this metric is that desktop-tethered Macs are holding up better than the portable MacBooks. Apple sold just 2% more MacBooks than it did a year earlier, and because the average selling price is slightly lower, revenue from Apple's portable computers has actually fallen 1% over the past year.

• 7.7 million
No one is surprised by cascading iPod sales anymore. The same company that sold 9 million iPods during last year's fiscal second quarter and 15.4 million iPods during the holiday quarter only handed over 7.7 million iPod devices.

This isn't a big deal. The iPod has been losing steam since the iPad was introduced. Since an iPad is essentially a super-sized iPod, it's a good thing that the iPad growth is more than offsetting the decline in iPod sales.

11.8 million
Not every Apple metric was impressive. Apple sold 11.8 million iPads during the quarter. It obviously wasn't going to match the 15.4 million iPad 2 units it sold during the holiday quarter. Apple's tablet has become a popular gift item despite its stiff price tag.

However, given the arrival of the new iPad during the final month of the quarter, analysts were expecting to see 13 million iPads sold. It didn't happen.

• 35.1 million
How do you like them iPhones? After hearing that Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T) suffer sizable declines in iPhone sales during the first three months of the year relative to the holidays, skeptics began breaking into their happy dances. Analysts figured that Apple moved closer to 30 million iPhones after the 37 million smartphones that Apple sold during the holiday quarter.
Well, 35.1 million iPhones is pretty darn impressive considering that the iPhone 4S was introduced late last year to strong initial demand heading into the holidays.

How can it be? Verizon and AT&T were whining about double-digit percentage declines sequentially. Well, investors mustn't forget that nearly two-thirds of Apple's business these days is international. As wireless carriers closer to home are whining about subsidies and pushing consumers toward Android handsets where they can score meatier profits, the iPhone is a rock star in many foreign markets.

• 110.2 billion
Add up Apple's cash, short-term securities, and long-term investments and you have a company with $110.2 billion in cash. Even if a good chunk of that change is locked up overseas -- waiting for a hoped-for tax repatriation holiday to come back home -- the company's loaded.

It obviously won't have a problem shelling out the quarterly dividend that it recently reinitiated. The same goes for the ambitious share buyback that's also in the works for next year.

Longtime Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not own shares in any of the stocks in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of and creating a bull call spread position in Apple.

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Apple = corporate greed at it's finest.

April 26 2012 at 11:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Like Steve Jobs, I have a laboratory in my garage. Just one of the technologies I developed is worth more than the entire Apple company. And I have many. Right now I'm working on something called photon exchange technology.....Alfred-

April 26 2012 at 6:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to alfredschrader's comment

GODSPEED !!!!!!!!!!!!

April 26 2012 at 8:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can't help but see an analogy to a pyrmaid effect with a deck of cards. Each similar new product replacing the previous one with nothing major really changing. It doesn't take many cycles for this kiind of business model to be broken. If I recall it's 7 tiers and then it all collapses unless something major changes within Apple , its modus operandi and its offering to the market. Two - three more years then its back to reality.

April 26 2012 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to quintondall's comment

well..........aPPle seems to get away with this the SAME WAY absolutely NO ONE *itches about THEIR PROFITS which are waaaaay GREATER THAN big,evil OILs' are...............the gubmint doesn't fleece them like they do the fuel industry either 18cents/gallon--i mean they could get them say 2 bucks for every hundred on the RETAIL price of their crap--but they don't.
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand gOOgle's PROFITS are bigger than aPPles etc etc.
not a sound outta the leftwads.

April 26 2012 at 8:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sadly, it is unlikely that there will ever be a favorable "Cash Repatriation" for any off-shore, Foreign Direct Investor, or Multi National Enterprise. Well have to see if their effort can only continue to create innovative products or services that can generate the demand needed to take advantage of lower-production and resources at favorable tax advantages and expenses.

Worst yet is, if Apples position and relationship in Asian were to deteriorate, is would be likely that the shift from one region to the next would be grossly expensive, ultimately absorbing most of its cash reserve, thereby putting Samsung in a much more favorable position than Apple. Additionally, the transfer of technology more than likely switch from Apple to other similar tech innovators or manufacturers.

Apples failure has been its long-term investment and reliance in the Foxconn Zhengzhou Technology Park in China; thereby, placing all its apples in one basket.

April 26 2012 at 12:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It is impressive to know a company has retained earnings, cash and investments totaling $110.2 billion. It is not quite clear to me what the article means by " hope-for tax repatriation holiday ". The last tax repatriation holiday occurred in 2004 when the corporate tax rate was reduced to 8.5% and as low as 5% if the profits were earmarked to increase worker employment. It didn't work out as planned when the billions that were repatriated during the tax holiday were mainly used to shore-up shareholder value by stock buybacks followed by 25,000 employee cut backs to increase earnings in the future . Some of the repatriated funds also helped companies invest in new factories in Asia where there were better opportunities after the tax-holiday. To discourage this from happening again under a revived tax repatriation holiday now under consideration in the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is limit repatriated funds from becoming a major vehicle for stock buybacks and learn from its mistakes in 2004. A more permanant fix for the medium term is to reduce the corporate tax to encourage more investment in the U.S.

April 26 2012 at 11:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

how is it that a company can have that much in "cash" and they can't drop the price of their products?? further how is it that they can't manufacturer their product in this country? further how cheap can Jobs get, he didn't get to take it with him? I guess there is one light to this.. one can always get a job delivering this crap Fedex, UPS or whatever.

April 26 2012 at 10:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to torandersen's comment

Understand that Apple doesn't manufacture in the US, nor does ant other major computer maker. Read this article from the New York Times:
Bush Senior said it didn't matter if the USA made computer chips or potato chips. We don't have the low level engineers and technicians, we don't have the manufacturing of components. American students don't study math and science - it's too hard. Add to this Chinese workers making $10 a day (vs greedy american workers who want $10 an hour or more) and a US government that doesn't consider manufacturing a national security issue so makes no policy and lets the "invisible hand" of the free market determine what is made here.

April 26 2012 at 12:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

When you have slave type labor in China manufactering your products as Apple reportedly does, multi-billion dollar quarterly earnings should be an embarrasment. Not for Apple, it's investors or the people who buy their products though. Until recent exposure, Apple just swept it under the rug. Hey Apple, how about bring some of those jobs to the US? Yeah right! GREED!!!

April 26 2012 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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Apple stock price analysis: http://liqwave.blogspot.com/2012/04/iphone-apple-store-ipad.html

April 25 2012 at 7:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply