Apple’s Q1 2013 Earnings Cross $54 Billion; Company’s Highest Quarterly Revenue Ever

Market Analysts who predicted fall in Apple’s revenue share this quarter have been put to shame. The company’s earnings for the first quarter, Q1-2013 passed $ 54.5 billion!

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Apple, with the earnings of $13.81 per share marked $ 13.1 billion in profit for the first quarter of the New Year. The total revenue generated for the first quarter went up to $54.5 billion. It marked the achievement as significant since, the number of weeks in a year-ago quarter were more (14) than, the current year’s quarter (13). Still, it managed to collect what it claims to be the highest quarterly revenue ever.

We established new all-time quarterly records for iPhone and iPad sales, Apple’s highest quarterly revenue ever.” It’s important to remember that there was only 13 weeks of sales included in Q1 2013, as compared to 14 weeks in the year-ago quarter”, said the company CEO – Tim Cook.

As per the information available, Apple sold 47.8 million iPhones this quarter, a rise by 23%, and 22.9 million iPads. iPad sales were up by 33% when compared to Q1 of 2012. The company however saw decline in Mac sales. It managed to sell 4.1 million Macs during the quarter, 22% less of the last year’s quarter sales. iPod sales were down too.

In all, the company sold over 75 million iOS devices in a single quarter. Surely, Time Cook was happy with sales and revenue numbers he managed to generate this quarter. He concluded by saying the following during a conference call with analytics,

We’re thrilled with record revenue of over $54 billion. We’re very confident in our product pipeline as we continue to focus on innovation and making the best products in the world.”

Reports from the wireless carriers such as Verizon, AT&T and more had earlier suggested that sales of iPhone 5 were declining. Still, the company managed to beat last year’s revenue figures.

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Roger Dunning is a technology evangelist. He lives in New York with his wife and pet dog. You can find him 24×7 on the Internet.

4 Comments

  1. Gregg L. DesElms

    TO: Roger Dunning (the article’s author)

    Your article, here, is misleading on at least two counts, to wit:

    First, that on which you’re reporting is Apple’s data for the quarter ending in December 2012 which, because of Apple’s being on an unusual FISCAL year which begins in October (most corporate fiscal years begin in July), and so is allowed to label said fiscal year by the calendar year in which the majority of its fiscal year’s months occur, is technically the first quarter of Apple’s 2013; however, since the rest of the world is on CALENDAR year 2013, the first quarter of which is but three weeks or so old, and which first quarter won’t end for another two and a quarter months, it’s critical — essential, in fact — that anyone writing about it must be sure to include either the words “fiscal year” or the abbreviation “FY” before the text string “Q1 2013” in the headline, or “Q1 – 2013” in the body of the article. It’s the very first thing that real financial reporters for real news media outlets are taught.

    Your story didn’t even contain either “FY” or “fiscal year;” and so the way you’ve done it is guaranteed to confuse. One of my complaints about the writers around here is that they’ve obviously not even read a book on journalism, much less gone to J-school; and the confusing error of this article as I’ve just described it is a cogent example of what can happen as a result. The period should have been referred to, in the story’s lead, as “Q1 of Apple’s FY 2013, ending in December.” If you had simply done that, then all confusion would be eliminated; and, moreover, your having first written that in the lead, all subsequent referrals to the period could have been via your “Q1 – 2013” shorthand.

    Again, journalism school; or at least a book, for the loveofgod. Please at least READ A BOOK on how to do that which you’re attempting! Have you even standardized on a stylebook… the AP’s, maybe? Do you even know what that means, or how important it is? There’s a REASON people spend $50,000 to $100,000 going to journalism school. What do you think they learn there?

    Second, regarding your article’s very first sentence: “Market Analysts who predicted fall in Apple’s revenue share this quarter have been put to shame”: Are you freakin’ kiddin’ me? Put to shame? You think Apple’s $13.81-per-share earnings “puts to shame” the analysts’ $13.48-per-share forecast? What… are you just parroting the crap in Apple’s press release or something? And how conveniently you leave out what ELSE Apple revealed after the market closed.

    There’s a reason that not just any journalism grad gets to do financial reporting; why most new financial reporters, these days, have degrees in not only journalism, but also finance; or maybe an MBA, atop their bachelors in journalism. It’s because they actually need to understand that about which they’re writing!

    Have you even BOTHERED to look at a stock market ticker in the past 24 hours? Or have you even bothered to read a financial article written by real journalists on Wall Street who actually know what they’re doing? Apple stock, in part precisely BECAUSE of that on which you’ve reported, fell a whopping 10% in after-hours trading yesterday on the heels of Apple’s both earnings and revenue reports, as well as its guidance statement. Worse, it’s down more than 12% today! That’s the worst drop in almost 1,600 days! In fact, Apple’s stock lost more today (Thursday 24 Jan 2013) than RIM, Nokia and Dell — ALL PUT TOGETHER — are even worth! Yesterday’s after-hours trading nosedive, alone, caused a massive market valuation meltdown, resulting in Morgan Stanley cutting its price target to $115 from $178.

    Yes, Apple exceeded expectations on earnings per share, as you reported; and that, indeed, despite its being flat with a year ago, beat expectations (albeit by only 33 cents); but you neglected to add that the company waited until after the market closed to disclose that the huge sales growth of the last five years is slowing drastically as iPhone sales are starting to plateau; and that as good as were the earnings, it was nevertheless the first time in something like a decade that Apple didn’t post a double-digit increase in them.

    Worse, Apple’s revised method of offering guidance from one that has been traditionally conservative to one that, now, is far more accurate — including a sales growth prediction, yesterday, of only 7% for the current quarter (when quarters of 50% or more have not been uncommon in the past) — will result, according to numbers crunched by respected BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk, in a plummeting of Apple’s earnings-per-share in Q2 of FY 2013 from the current $13.81 about which you’re so excited, to a dismal only $9.23 to maybe $10.23 per-share.

    These are HUGE decreases… decreases which have, today, caused the very kinds of analysts to which your article’s opening sentence refers — nay, touts — to summarily downgraded Apple. Jefferies went to “hold” from “buy;” and there were considerable price-target reductions by a number of brokerage firms, including Barclays, Raymond James, Baird, BMO, RBC, and Morgan Stanley, just to name the big boys.

    “We do not expect Apple’s gross margins to rise above 40% again,” Piecyk said, adding that they “still could fall much further” if the company fails to respond to market trends, such as developing a cheaper iPhone: “Without a lower priced phone, we think it will be a challenge for Apple to grow [earnings per share] in 2014 as it undergoes further pricing and margin pressure,” he added.

    You, though, in your story, here, reacted like an Apple-loving, blind-to-the-facts (as are most Apple lovers) disciple and mere consumer who couldn’t be less qualified to write such a story as you’ve tackled, here. What sticks out for the likes of you are seemingly-impressive (but not nearly the whole story) record-breaking numbers like 47.8 million iPhones sold, and/or 22.9 million iPads sold, and/or $54.5 billion in quarterly revenue, and the fact that Apple’s cash pile has now grown to its highest ever at $137.1 billion. Add to that the relatively financially meaningless (but nevertheless impressive to at least you) numbers like that Apple has now sold more than 500 million iOS devices to date, and the financial-market-clueless, like you, could be left with the impression that Apple is stronger than it’s ever been.

    But none of that is the story, as you’ve so egregiously misled the reader, here. The bottom line of the story is that while Apple’s stock will likely soon more or less recover, the company, finally, is going to have to work harder to trickle increased earnings down from decreased revenues; and that Apple, for the first time in a long time, isn’t the “go to” stock for investors that it has always been. Compare THAT with what YOU told us.

    Reporting on this kind of story requires being right on top of things, being fleet-of-foot, keeping-up with fast changes, and actually understanding that about which you’re writing… which includes far more than what’s on a big and self-interested corporation’s press release; a press release the ink on which you didn’t even let dry before gushing it, here, as if it were the whole story. By the time it appeared here, in a story dated January 24, 2013, Apple’s after-hours trading should have already warned you that more was to come. By the time most Americans read it, it was on its way to closing at 450.50, down 63.51 or 12.35% from when Apple made the announcement that you painted as so rosy. In just the time it has taken me to write all this, Apple stock fell, in after-hours trading to 448.37, down another 2.13 (-0.47%) to a net decrease from yesterday’s announcements of almost 13% (12.82%, to be precise). Who knows where it will be by tomorrow’s opening bell.

    Indeed, Apple remains the world’s most valuable company, a position it has held for more than a year. And there may even be a silver lining to it all in the form of Apple’s $196 billion in assets, which represents a good portion of Apple’s $484 billion market capitalization, making it almost look like maybe Apple is currently underpriced.

    But, of course, you missed ALL of that. Yes, you could argue that it’s based only on what you knew yesterday, but the story’s dated today. It is, therefore, irresponsible. Thank goodness no investor was relying on it.

    SEE: http://www.google.com/finance?cid=22144
    SEE: http://bit.ly/XE4KXJ

    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

  2. RogerDunning

    Hey Greg,

    You are correct, I missed on the first point – Fiscal Year, and
    the term you referred to, my bad!  Let me
    assure you it was not deliberately done.

    Secondly, I was referring to Apple’s total revenue growth in
    the first quarter of the fiscal year, not the value of a single market share
    whose estimated and actual figures, you have highlighted in your comment here.
    Some analysts had predicted that may be for the first time in 9 years Apple may
    not see profits. Hence the statement from my side.

    You could have said what you intended to, in a more civil
    manner, in my opinion.

  3. Gregg L. DesElms

    I’m sorry you think it was not civil.  Given that the article, in light of the real facts which you decided to just ignore was so incomplete and misleading; and given the responsibility that anyone who deigns to write about finance has to the public, I actually thought I was a model of restraint.

    I’m sorry, but bad journalism really pushed my buttons.  I’m quite certain, for example, that your not properly labeling “FY” or “fiscal year”  was not deliberately done.  But it’s the kind of mistake, given the kind of article you dared to tackle, that may simply not be made.  It’s sort of like a surgeon saying “oops”:  Some things simply can’t ever happen, no matter what.

    As to your second paragraph, beginning with the word “secondly,” what you reported was news on the 23rd.  Yes there were other articles out there covering only what you covered, because what they were covering was just Apple’s announcement, in effect; and they all appeared on the 23rd.  If you were a professionally-trained journalist, though, you’d know that that’s just one side of the story; that big corporations are ALWAYS going to be self-interested, and will slant the story their way to the maximum amount they can without running afoul of government regulators.  And so you should have known to get the rest of the story before publishing on the 24th.

    By the time you published the story, on the 24th, the after-hours markets had already telegraphed what was going to happen which sucked all the wind right out of the enthusiam you apparently wished the reader to have.  Writing about what you chose to write about is something wherein quite literally hours matter.  HOURS!  The entire story had changed by the time you published it.  It was old news by that time; and because the new news regarding it so flew in its face, it was downright misleading to publish it on the 24th.  It made Apple look very rosy, when things had manifestly changed by then.  

    And I will, as an activist, call-out those who mislead so fast they won’t know what him ’em.  It’s the only ethical and honorable thing for the likes of me to do.  And such calling out is usually not pretty… hence your sense of my incivility.  Too bad.  A screw-up is a screw-up; and this one had the potential to actually cost someone some mony.  There is always that risk whenever one deigns to report on financial matters; and so it’s essential that whatever are the ENTIRE facts at the moment of publication are fully revealed; and if it’s the kind of story that could change almost hourly, then some mention of that, and that the story is dated and time-stamped and only current as of that moment is in order.

    I’m sorry — truly — if I offended and angered you.  While I didn’t mean to do that so much, I certainly meant to make it a big deal, because it is one.  I’m also no fan of Apple, and my own bias may have influenced not my facts, of course, but at least my zeal.  Analysts refer to Apple’s history of conservative forcasting as only that; and some say it was a good thing, so that people would invest more conservatively.  But studies show that that’s not how it actually works.  Once their investments exceed Apple’s guidance expectations a time or two or three, investors begin to get a skewed view of the stock, and invest even more.  That’s precisely why corporations do that; and I’ve long said that the SEC should disallow it.  Apple’s only changing its guidance to something more realistic now that its earnings are going to decline as a percentage of revenue; and so Apple doesn’t want to risk being accused of misleading anyone.  These are very manipulative and corporate-self-interested (to the potential harm of the investor) things that Apple does.  Combined with its long-time form-over-function design and implementation strategies, and overpriced products, and human rights violations in its overseas manufacturing, and intentional dumbing-down of user interfaces; as well as it its blindly-loyal disciple end users tending to know nothing about computing and, worse, to usually be fairly sloppy and right-brained thinkers, and… and… I could go on and on:  All those things, combined make me, yes, rather dislike Apple.  

    And, yes, I’m a Windows user (though I have a Mac right here on the credenza, behind me, so I can support my iOS clients); with some nearly 40 years, now, in IT.  But my eyes, trust me, are wide-open about Apple.  The only company in that world that’s more egregious, really, is Microsoft, about which my eyes are wide-open, as well; so don’t presume me to be an Apple-only hater… or a hater at all, really.  Er… well… I am a hater of bad journalism.  But that’s obvious, by now.

    I also have a bit of a history of having a problem or two with the lack of journalistic standards on websites like this.  And it’s not just this site; so don’t feel too awfully singled-out by me.  I complain on all the sites like this out there for things like bad headline writing which serves to mislead and attract readers to the story, only to have them learn, by reading it, that it’s really about something slightly else; or unfair/unbalanced stories (which is closest to what I consider yours to have been); or really horrible grammar and spelling and inappropriate use of shorthanded or slang terminology, etc.  I’m particularly unhappy about stories that just parrot what a big corporate press release touts.  Talk about being in said corporation’s pocket!  Never doing that is yet another of the first things that all j-school students are taught.  The press release is just one source, never the whole story.  One must go out and find the rest of the story, and get balancing quotes, etc., before going to press!

    The Internet and its worldwide web are cool, indeed; however, their ability to make it so that anyone with a computer and a few bucks a month to spend on connecting it to the Internet through an ISP can get online and fancy himself/herself a journalist has its downsides, including that more people get misled more often…whether or not by design.  The more traditional in-print model of newspapers and magazines (and, still, their websites) all involve multiple levels of vetting:  First the writer and however his/her training mades the story both complete and balanced (guided by a stylebook), then his/her direct editor (usually a “desk” editor), then a copy editor at the very least (at some publications, the managing editor has a small staff that gives things the once-over after the copy editor has had his/her way with it.  

    This whole business of the story going straight from the writer — who may or may not have even read a book on journalism, or been to J-school — to the reader’s eyes is dangerous, indeed, as I would posit your story, I’m sorry, is a cogent example.

    There’s no magic to decent journalism.  One can actually get not-bad at it by just reading a few books, noticing how the pros do it, standardizing on a stylebook and sticking to it, and learning to be painfully hones about one’s work.  One may get slightly better by taking, for example, one of the several interesting online certificate courses from approved providers in the UK which prepare UK journalists for the cert exams they must take to work at most newspapers.  Even if one only took the online short courses (some of which are free) that the various newspaper/journalism non-profit organizations and foundations offer via the Internet, one would be better off than just plunging-in with no training or, worse, sense of there being any art to it.

    Good journalism is a hedge against the public being manipulated by those who are okay with said public only knowing one side of things… such as we see on Right-winged newsfeed sites, for example.  Learning the code of ethics such as that which j-school teaches, and then living by it whenever one writes, is how one does what you’re trying to do with ultimate responsibility to ones obligations under the implied social contract.

    I’m sorry I was so strident; but, again, of the buttons I have out there, you — obviously without meaning to so do — pushes several of them.

    Keep-up the good work… just be more careful about it.

    Peace.

    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

  4. RogerDunning

    No issues, I get what you are trying to say.

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