Apple’s astonishing profit in context

When Apple released its fourth quarter earnings in late October, the reaction from commentators, analysts and investors was largely negative,” Felix Richter reports for Statista. “The company had missed earnings expectations, sold fewer iPads than expected and its margins had declined.”

“What went by nearly unnoticed however, was the fact that Apple had just wrapped up its fiscal year 2012 with a record profit of $41.7 billion on $156.5 billion revenue,” Richter reports. “How huge these numbers really are becomes more evident when compared to the results of Apple’s competition.”

Richter reports, “This chart shows Apple’s net profit in fiscal 2012 compared to the combined profits of several big players from different industries.”

You will find more statistics at Statista

Read more in the full article here.


  1. When Apple releases their quarterly results, they compare the same quarter in the previous year. This makes little sense, since the business is both seasonal and fluctuates according to product introduction cycles, meaning that the annual comparison is more meaningful for analytical purposes than the quarterly comparison ever could be. Apple’s focus on releasing quarterly results without focusing on annual results is not helpful to the shareholders as it invariably leads to analytical distortion and share price volatility beyond belief.

    1. Thank you Charles Brown for business analysis 101. You’ve stated the obvious, something even every 1st day Wall St. analyst realizes.

      PS – quarterly results are mandated by the SEC. They have no choice to release them in the manner they do.

      1. Yes, they have to release quarterly results, but what they do not do is start the discussion with four quarter results to show the annual comparisons, and discuss those before they discuss the quarterly results with the analysts, so that some journalists when they comment might discuss both the annual and quarterly results. As things stand, it’s up to the reader to look the annual results up for themselves, and the market reacts to the quarterly, but not annual results. As Mr. Gump postulated, Stupid is as stupid does.

  2. Regardless of all things tech and all the ANALists bullshit & spin…. Fact is….. Numbers don’t lie. AAPL, by the way reports REAL SALES. NUMBERS DON’T LIE. So, my suggestion to APPL shareholders…. AAPL is DOOMED!!! You should sell! Right? GMAFB.

  3. A year ago, when many analysts were belaboring Apple’s quarterly guidance for Xmas, ~$36B in sales and $9.30eps, I pointed out that Apple had just implied full-year sales of about $160B and $40 eps. And, here we are a year later, and Apple sales were $156.5B, and EPS was over $44, a 45% and 60% growth rate. Amazing performance for such a large company, and it was easily predictable.

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