January Blowout Specials ends 1/31“Apple’s earnings conference call just ended, and as you’ve probably read by now, the results are impressive. A significant accounting change allowing Apple to book revenue sales of iPhones immediately instead of over two years sales as before. This propelled revenue to nearly $15.7 billion and a per-share profits to $3.67. Both numbers blew away the estimates of analysts. To give you a sense of proportion, consider this: Apple reported more revenue in the first quarter of 2010 than it did for the entire fiscal year in 2005,” Arik Hesseldahl writes for BusinessWeek.

“To me the most notable number that emerged from the earnings report is Apple’s total cash holdings: Having produced $5.8 billion in cash from operations, Apple finished the quarter with $39.8 billion in cash and short-term investments, or about $44 in cash per share. That figure is sure to re-ignite criticism that Apple may not be putting its considerable cash resources to the best possible use,” Hesseldahl writes. “As usual Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said that the goal of Apple’s cash management is ‘preservation of capital.’ Apple invests its cash in what Oppenheimer described as ‘short dated, high quality investments.'”

Hesseldahl writes, “The time has clearly come for Apple and its board of directors to take a long hard look at its cash position consider doing something more than just ‘preserving’ it. Technically that money belongs to Apple’s shareholders, who could certainly find better things to do with it were it returned to them in the form of a stock buyback or special dividend. And happy as they may be with Apple’s stock price, it’s time for Apple’s shareholders to speak up on the matter.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The ol’ drumbeat continues. Jobs is saving up to buy Microsoft, that much is obvious. wink

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “James W.” for the heads up.]