Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2008 fourth quarter ended September 27, 2008. The Company posted revenue of $7.9 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.14 billion, or $1.26 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $6.22 billion and net quarterly profit of $904 million, or $1.01 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 34.7 percent, up from 33.6 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 41 percent of the quarter’s revenue.
MacDailyNews Note: Analysts’ consensus estimates for Apple’s Q4 08 called for $1.11 EPS, on revenue of $8.05 billion, or 29.4% YOY sales growth. Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO, had provided guidance of “about $7.8 billion” and earnings per diluted share of “about $1.00.”
In accordance with the subscription accounting treatment required by GAAP, the Company recognizes revenue and cost of goods sold for iPhone and Apple TV over their economic lives. Adjusting GAAP sales and product costs to eliminate the impact of subscription accounting, the corresponding non-GAAP measures (more info) for the quarter are $11.68 billion of “Adjusted Sales” and $2.44 billion of “Adjusted Net Income.”
Apple shipped 2,611,000 Macintosh computers during the quarter, representing 21% unit growth and 17% revenue growth over the year-ago quarter. The company sold 11,052,000 iPods during the quarter, representing 8% unit growth and 3% revenue growth over the year-ago quarter. Quarterly iPhone units sold were 6,892,000 compared to 1,119,000 in the year-ago-quarter.
“Apple just reported one of the best quarters in its history, with a spectacular performance by the iPhone—we sold more phones than RIM,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, in the press release. “We don’t yet know how this economic downturn will affect Apple. But we’re armed with the strongest product line in our history, the most talented employees and the best customers in our industry. And $25 billion of cash safely in the bank with zero debt.”
“We’re very pleased to have grown revenue 35 percent and to have generated $9.1 billion in cash in fiscal 2008,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead, visibility is low and forecasting is challenging, and as a result we are going to be prudent in predicting the December quarter. We are providing a wide range for our guidance, targeting revenue of $9.0 to $10.0 billion and earnings per diluted share between $1.06 and $1.35.”
MacDailyNews Take: Analysts’ consensus estimates for Q1 09 call for $1.65 EPS, on revenue of $10.57 billion, or 10.0% YOY sales growth. It’s nice to see Apple providing a “wide range” instead of harder guidance, but even the top end of EPS guidance doesn’t come close to expectations. We’ll see how the market treats this guidance. If history is any guide, it won’t be pretty.
Apple will conduct a conference call to discuss the company’s results today, Tuesday, October 21, 2008 at 2pm PT/5pm ET.
MacDailyNews will be covering the conference call via live notes at that time. The live coverage will appear at the top of our home pages shortly before 5pm ET.
The link to the QuickTime stream of the conference call is here.