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Apple Crushes the Fourth Quarter

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted October 20, 2009




When it comes the digital world, it’s hard to imagine what the tech sector would look like without Apple CEO, Steve Jobs.

That’s how good Jobs has been over the course of his career, a rock star CEO if there ever was one.

And the cold hard truth is that what Jobs brings to the table can’t be bottled up or reproduced, proving that even in giant companies individuals matter.

But as good as Jobs has been, there is an entire cutting edge company that stands behind him. And with the economy now trying to climb out of a deep recession, Apple’s future goes well beyond the talents of just one man.

Fortunately for Apple’s shareholders, there is lot more to this company than its CEO.  With or without the daily supervision of Jobs, Apple is one of the best run companies in the business.

After the close yesterday, we were reminded of why exactly that is.

Apple crushed it again.

From Bloomberg by Rochelle Garner and Connie Guglielmo entitled: Apple Soars After Mac and iPhone Sales Top Estimates

“Apple Inc. rose to its highest level in almost two years in Nasdaq trading after fourth-quarter profit and revenue topped analysts’ estimates, fueled by back- to-school orders for the iPhone, iPod and Macintosh computer.

Apple’s shares are trading at a level not seen since the iPhone first emerged as a hit product two years ago, when the device opened up a third major business for the company. While Apple’s growth slowed during the recession, earnings have continued to top analysts’ estimates. A faster iPhone called the 3GS debuted this year, reigniting sales.

Fourth-quarter net income rose 47 percent to $1.67 billion, or $1.82 a share, Apple said yesterday. Sales advanced 25 percent to $9.87 billion in the period, which ended Sept. 26. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg estimated revenue of $9.22 billion and profit of $1.43 a share.

First-quarter revenue will be between $11.3 billion and $11.6 billion, Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said. Profit will be $1.70 to $1.78 a share in the quarter, which is one of Apple’s biggest sales periods. Analysts had anticipated revenue of $11.5 billion and profit of $1.92 a share.

“Apple is traditionally conservative with their expectations,” Ryan Jacob, portfolio manager of Jacob Internet Fund, said in an interview from Los Angeles. Apple is his firm’s largest holding. “The fact that their revenue guidance is in line with estimates suggests analysts’ estimates are low, and will be revised higher.”

Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs cut iPod prices, added new models and ran a back-to-school Mac promotion to fuel sales. That helped Apple sell 7.4 million iPhones, 3.1 million Macs and 10.2 million iPods last quarter. Brian Marshall, an analyst with Broadpoint AmTech Inc. in San Francisco, had predicted shipments of 7 million iPhones, 2.8 million Macs and 10 million iPods.

‘I’m glad I didn’t sell,’ Hakim Kriout, portfolio manager for Grigsby & Associates, said in an interview from New York. ‘I’m sitting back and looking at what Apple has done, and I think Apple is the new Sony. An entire generation is growing up demanding Apple’s products, and nothing but Apple’s products.'”

After a strong back-to-school season, it will be interesting to see how Apple performs over the holidays.  Here’s a bet they just keep chugging along.

Apple’s share price, by the way, is now trading at an all time high.

Related Articles:

Jobs Returns, Apple Shares Soar

Gates Squirms, Jobs Chuckles

Godspeed Mr. Jobs

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