Apple posts record revenue of $28.27 billion, misses Street expectations for first time since 2004

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2011 fourth quarter ended September 24, 2011. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $28.27 billion and quarterly net profit of $6.62 billion, or $7.05 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $20.34 billion and net quarterly profit of $4.31 billion, or $4.64 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 40.3 percent compared to 36.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 63 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

The Company sold 17.07 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 21 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 11.12 million iPads during the quarter, a 166 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. The Company sold 4.89 million Macs during the quarter, a 26 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 6.62 million iPods, a 27 percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter.

“We are thrilled with the very strong finish of an outstanding fiscal 2011, growing annual revenue to $108 billion and growing earnings to $26 billion,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, in the press release. “Customer response to iPhone 4S has been fantastic, we have strong momentum going into the holiday season, and we remain really enthusiastic about our product pipeline.”

“We are extremely pleased with our record September quarter revenue and earnings and with cash generation of $5.4 billion during the quarter,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2012, which will span 14 weeks rather than 13, we expect revenue of about $37 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share of about $9.30.”

MacDailyNews Take: Analysts’ consensus estimates called for $29.69 billion in revenue and $7.39 EPS.

First AAPL EPS miss since 2004. Expect the bears to jump all over this “miss” in Street expectations, while never mentioning the record revenue or that Apple did significantly better than Apple themselves guided. They will say “it’s all over because Steve is dead,” that not enough iPhones were sold (while ignoring that most expected a new iPhone in the fall), and anything and everything else they can dream up to beat down the shares. In other words, expect an “AAPL sale.”

In the year-ago quarter, Q410, Apple posted then-record revenue of $20.34 billion and net quarterly profit of $4.31 billion, or $4.64 per diluted share.

In a rather amazing turn of events, Apple actually forecast above Street expectations, so there’s a little something for the bulls, at least.

Update, 4:42pm ET: AAPL down -$24.24, or -5.74% to $398.00 in after-hours trading.

Update: 4:53pm ET: AAPL down -$26.44, or -6.26%, to $395.80.


      1. Yes, I know that but they always under promise. This is meaningful because they performed below Street expectations for the first time in a long, long time. As I said, the numbers are good when looked at in their purity.

          1. You’re not getting my point. The numbers are great, but a miss is a miss. If a beat is significant, then the first miss in seven years is also a big deal. Simple.

            1. “This is meaningful because they performed below Street expectations for the first time in a ”

              What, a bunch of idiots taking wild guesses determines the value of a company??? These same idiots have been way off for years, quarter after quarter.

              Keep in mind that the stock price of a company no longer has anything to do with the company, its just a measure so people can make money by pushing it down, buying, pulling it up, selling.


            2. A miss by whose measure? This is a form of stock manipulation: create an estimate no one can meet, and then when they fail to meet the impossible estimate, say the company is weak. I call BS. Apple is a cash rich company with 0 debt, and strong long term growth potential. The fact that wall street doesn’t see that is one of many things wrong with wall street. The other is that Dell rose 2.5% over the day. So Apple is a valuable company that declined, while dell is a worthless company that rose. Pathetic.

            3. No, you are missing the point. Record. Numbers. The ONLY take away from this is that the analysts were wrong. Again. If Apple had missed its OWN numbers this might mean something. Analysts being wrong yet again is not news.

          2. Yes, fantastic growth and yet it disappoints. The P/E is in the mid teens, the same as a low-growth firm. Expect Wall Street to take a while to figure out the iPh number is light because there wasn’t a new model in the first three quarters of 2011, and the iPh 4S has sold 4M units in 3 days, and they sold almost 5M Macs last Q, and margins are up over 40%. AND a new iPad and iPhone 5 will be coming in first half of 2012.

        1. You really are an idiot. Apple is a publicly traded company. In terms of the performance of their stock, it is far more important to meet the Street’s numbers than your own targets, which are always sandbagged anyway. Do you honestly think Apple would be satisfied just meeting their targets? Give your head a shake. I hope you don’t own any shares because you’re clueless about factors that affect their performance. Like it or not that’s the way it is.

          1. “Do you honestly think Apple would be satisfied just meeting their targets?”

            You really are an idiot. Where I said anything about Apple being satisfied with just meeting their targets?

            Apple, as always, topped their targets.

    1. In a way, it’s good. It’s the equivalent of a controlled burn in the forest enabling new seedlings to grow.

      Any CAKE curve that takes PB&J into account is going to have ups and downs. If it doesn’t have any downs, that only means a down is overdue. So, a welcome down. More important is the impact Siri is having in the public mindset.

    1. Apple constrained production of 4 to start 4S according to Jon Fort of CNBC. Sounds logical. Buyers were obviously waiting for the 4S even though zillions were eligible for an upgrade. This certainly affected iPhone sales numbers dramatically too. Having said that, the market moves on rumors and the bears are always full of rumors. However, not being a sheep or fanboy, I do realize that at some point AAPL will have a difficult time going higher. But I think $500 is attainable within a year. Ya always know (or you shouldn’t be investing period) that AAPL has a difficult time at earnings. That’s just a fact. So I hope you weren’t holding stock because calls are the best way to play AAPL at these valuations. And you better be long “in the money” calls. Otherwise you just just got bitch slapped and you deserve it. Earnings, stay away unless you’ve been there before. And pay attention! No, buy and hold is not the way to invest. If you are holding AAPL stock from the past you have missed out on multiple opportunities to sell and get back in. It’s not profit until you sell it. I see great opportunity in making money in AAPL but be careful going forward. Viva AAPL!

  1. So, The Street finally overestimated Apple. Took em long enough.

    Probably hurt by no new phone that last quarter (pushed to fy2012 q1 ie. Oct 2011).

    Never trust the analysts.

  2. It is not a miss when you don’t hit the target set by journalists. They exceeded handily their guidance. Everything else is speculation. Over $7 per share in earnings in a quarter is stunning in an wrecked economy. It is not possible, is it, that hedge funds are trying to create bad news out of amazing growth so they can buy in at a big discount from stupid people who sell now.

    1. Correct, Apple did just fine ….. And yea iPhone sales tailed off – it wasn’t a secret a new iPhone was due and a fair number of people would of upgraded had it arrived in July ….

      But demand is pent up and sales next quarter will blow away everyone …….

      When Apple gets slammed we just have to wait for right opportunity as it will come back, just visit your local store and judge for yourself ….

    1. Agreed, Spade, this is definitely a buying opportunity for those who have wanted to get into AAPL but thought the price too high.

      But for those of use who got in waaaay earlier, it’s but a small drop in price before rocketing upward again.

    1. After-hours reactniks are driving it down. Don’t fret about it right now, the real action will be in tomorrow’s open. The bottom lin is, unless you are a day trader, the prognosis long term is still very high.

  3. So retarded… They have record revenue, and still its not good enough because they finally over-estimated, and forgot what kind of economy Apple is working in thanks to boatloads of politicians and economists whose idea of growth is government spending, which never ever works.

  4. Agree that the timing is terrible. Yes, we are in a major recession and showing strong growth is incredibly impressive, it’s just that there’s no “wow” again this time. It’s as if Steve was Apple’s irreplaceable magic man.

  5. 28 Billion, 27 Million in a QUARTER??? That’s just mind-blowing anyhow. How do you do that quarter after quarter forever?

    I found a new #1 for my “Stupidest Things I’ve Done This Year” list when I sold my 20 shares of AAPL at 172 on iPhone 4S day because the renters hadn’t paid yet and I wanted the money to get my wife a surprise new iPhone 4S.

    Two days later the stock would have been worth $1000 more. So a small part of me sighs with relief at a $20 drop in the stock.

    But wow, it’s definitely a new era for Apple, huh? How many consecutive quarters did they beat the street? 20? More?

  6. MDN, of course the bears will be all over it, just like you are all over it when they blow away expectations. Everyone will promote their own bias, it’s called human nature. Me, I just care about the impact on the stock. Bad news for short term call option holders, good news for long term Apple investors – a chance to buy some cheap shares will probably present itself.

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