Apple Q4 profit almost doubles

Michael Carroll
20 Jan 2011

Record shipments of the iPhone and iPad in the fourth quarter resulted in Apple almost doubling its profits year-on-year, despite signs that iPod sales are slowing.

The firm reported net profit of $6 billion (€4.4 billion) in its fiscal 1Q11, up from $3.38 billion in F1Q10, as iPhone shipments grew 86% to 16.24 million and iPad sales hit 7.33 million – almost twice the 4.2 million units shipped in fiscal 4Q10.

Shipments of Mac computers were also up, with sales of the firm’s latest ultra-thin laptops fuelling a 23% rise overall to 4.13 million units. However, iPod shipments showed signs of slowing during the quarter, falling 7% to 19.45 million.

The combined shipments drove revenues to a record $26.74 billion during the period, up from $20.34 billion in calendar 3Q, however margins fell from 40.9% in calendar 4Q09 to 38.5% in the most recent quarter.

Chief Steve Jobs said the “phenomenal holiday quarter,” shows the firm is “firing on all cylinders.” The launch of the iPhone by US carrier Verizon Wireless is just one of several “exciting things” the firm has in the pipeline for 2011, he added.

The results have gone some way to alleviating investor’s concerns about the company’s future after Jobs revealed he was taking another medical leave of absence on Monday – his third since 2004.

Edward Jones analyst Bill Kreher told Bloomberg the results show that Apple will survive Jobs’ latest absence, while Hudson Square’s Daniel Ernst stated the firm has a deep enough pool of talent to no longer rely solely on Jobs’ high profile, the Telegraph reported.

Apple’s CFO Peter Oppenheimer forecast lower revenues for fiscal 2Q11 of $22 billion, with earnings per share tipped to come in around $4.90.

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