Apple earnings good but not great

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Date: Monday, January 27th, 2014, 19:18
Category: Announcement, Apple, Business, Finance

apple-moneyThe business and financial markets are a kooky thing. You can make a ton of money, even more than the previous year, but if it’s not as much as other people expected, you’ve failed. That is essentially what Wall Street is saying after todays earnings announcement from Apple. As a result, Apple stock price fell almost 6%. That is in spite of the fact that Apple sold a record setting number of iPhones and iPads, and better Mac sales than it did in the same quarter of last year. Apple made $13.1 billion in profit on $57.6 billion in revenue, driven by sales of 51 million iPhones and 26 million iPads. In addition, Mac sales in the first quarter clocked in at 4.8 million which was up from 4.1 million a year ago. That seems like it should be a win right, but the market predicted Apple to post $58 billion in revenues on sales of around 56.5 million iPhones and 24.5 million iPads. Seems a tad nit-picky if you ask me, but if you believe CEO Tim Cook, Apple couldn’t be happier;

“We are really happy with our record iPhone and iPad sales, the strong performance of our Mac products and the continued growth of iTunes, Software and Services. We love having the most satisfied, loyal and engaged customers, and are continuing to invest heavily in our future to make their experiences with our products and services even better.”

Well, I guess you can’t everybody, but as far as I’m concerned, Apple is healthy and doing great.

Apple’s iOS App Store nets $10 billion in 2013

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Date: Friday, January 10th, 2014, 09:26
Category: Announcement, App Store, Apple, Apps, Business, Finance, iOS, iPhone, Software

apple-moneyAccording to an announcement by Apple on Tuesday, the company took home more than $10 billion last year from iOS app sales. Christmas sales put them over the top with customers downloading almost 3 billion apps, making December Apple’s most lucrative and successful month in the App Store’s history. BusinessWire’s coverage of the record setting sales quoted Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue;

“We’d like to thank our customers for making 2013 the best year ever for the App Store. The lineup of apps for the holiday season was astonishing and we look forward to seeing what developers create in 2014.”

Apple also reported that iOS developers have now earned a collective $15 billion from sales on the App Store.

Apple to hold it’s fiscal Q1 2014 earnings call on January 27 at 5PM ET/2PM PT

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Date: Tuesday, January 7th, 2014, 09:10
Category: Announcement, Apple, Business, Finance

apple_logoApple posted the date of its first quarter earnings release and conference call on its Investor web page, announcing the date to be January 27th. MacRumors notes that the release will…

“… provide a look into initial iPad Air and Retina iPad mini sales during their first quarter of availability as well as iPhone 5s and 5c sales throughout the holiday. Apple reported a record number of iPhone/iPad sales during fiscal 2013, at 150 million iPhones and 71 million iPads. In its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings call, Apple guided expected revenue of $55–58 billion and gross margin between 36.5 and 37.5 percent. If the company meets even the low end of that guidance, it will count as the strongest quarter for Apple in history.”

It is expected that CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer will be on hand for questions. Apple will live-stream the earnings call via its Investor website. A link to the upcoming broadcast should show up on the web page in the coming weeks.

Tim Cook takes self-inflicted pay cut

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, December 31st, 2013, 08:43
Category: Apple, Business, Finance, News

Tim-Cook-to-be-declined-Double-Salary-Bonus-by-AppleI remember the days of Gil Amelio (sorry to single you out Gil) and other CEOs of Apple who basically ‘took the money and ran’. In those days, the “golden parachute” was the norm for essentially kicking out CEOs who weren’t helping the company. Definitely a weird practice. Then Steve Jobs came back and famously paid himself a salary of $1.00 per year…yes, 1000 pennies. Of course he received a truckload of stocks which paid off more than a salary would have, and was also good PR. Now it appears that Tim Cook may be taking a page from Steve’s handbook by sacrificing some of his profits as a result of poor Apple stock performance in 2013. According to Apple, Tim Cook wanted to “…set a leadership example in the area of CEO compensation and governance.”.

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Apple and Bitcoin, oil and water?

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, December 12th, 2013, 10:56
Category: App Store, Apple, Finance, iOS, iPhone, Software, The Apple Core

Bitcoin-Accp-Here-notOne of my terrible regrets is that I didn’t hop on the Bitcoin train when I had the chance. I read about it, created an account, had one of my computers generate some coin (took forever), and decided it wasn’t worth my time to fart around with unrecognized virtual currency. If I had left that computer running, who knows what that would be worth now. Who knew? Whether it lasts or not is to be seen, but it is certainly getting a lot of attention now. If you’re not up to speed on the whole internet bit trading thing, start with this article over at The Apple Core for more info and the recent explosion of Bitcoin mining.

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Apple working on PrimeSense purchase

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Date: Monday, November 18th, 2013, 08:01
Category: Apple, Consumer Electronics, Finance, Microsoft, News, Siri, Wearables

primesense_sensorApple is currently in talks to buy the Israeli company, PrimeSense, the developer of the original 3D body sensing technology used by Microsoft for its Kinect platform. Since the release of the Xbox One, Microsoft has turned to it’s own solution for the current iteration of the Kinect hardware and software. Back in July of the is year, MacRumors reported that Apple was looking at the company for a possible purchase, and had entered into early negotiations with PrimeSense.

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Apple releases Q4 2013 numbers, shows $7.5 billion profit, but relatively flat year-over-year sales

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 29th, 2013, 02:06
Category: Finance, News

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A US$7.5 billion quarter is nothing to sneeze at, but the sales were a bit flat compared to a year ago.

Per Macworld, Apple wrapped up its 2013 fiscal year Monday with a US$7.5 billion profit on US$37.5 billion in revenue, reporting accelerating growth buttressed by strong iPhone sales and growth in the Chinese market. Compared to the same quarter a year ago, iPhone sales were up, iPad sales were flat, and Mac sales were down.

Apple announced that its revenues in its fiscal fourth quarter (ending September 28) were up four percent compared to the same quarter in 2012. That was good enough to once again beat most analyst estimates. But year-over-year profits fell eight percent.

The iPhone continued to be the prime mover in Apple’s fiscal world. The company said it sold 33.8 million iPhones—a record for the September quarter—compared to 26.9 million in that quarter last year. iPad unit sales were relatively flat at 14.1 million, up 100,000 from the year-ago quarter. And once again, Mac unit sales were down year-over-year, from 4.9 million in last year’s fourth quarter to 4.6 million this year. (Mac unit sales were lower every quarter this year compared to the same quarter the year before.) In fact, revenues from all Apple product lines except for the iPhone and for iTunes, software, and services were down year-over-year.

The good quarterly sales for the iPhone were no doubt goosed by the introduction of the iPhone 5s and 5c, which famously sold nine million units all by themselves in their debut weekend. The new iPhones were on sale for the last nine days of the quarter. Overall, iPhone unit sales were up eight percent over the previous sequential quarter, and up 26 percent over the year-ago quarter.

For the overall fiscal year 2013, iPhone net sales rose 13 percent (from US$80.4 billion to US$91.3 billion). At the same time, iPhone unit sales climbed 20 percent (125 million to 150 million). Overall, iPhone contributed 53 percent of Apple’s revenues, up 51 percent in 2012 and 43 percent in 2011; iPhones contributed more than half of all Apple revenues in every quarter of 2013.

iPad sales for the year were a mixed bag: While unit sales were up robustly (climbing 21 percent, from 58.3 million tablets to 71 million), net sales rose more anemically, from US$30.9 billion to just under US$32 billion. That revenue reduction can likely be chalked up to the introduction of the lower-cost iPad mini last fall. (With the introduction of the new-model iPad Air and iPad mini, due to ship in November, Apple’s next quarter will likely be quite impressive on the iPad front.)

Mac sales actually declined for the fiscal year as a whole. Unit sales dropped 10 percent in 2013 compared to the 2012 fiscal year (from 18.1 million to 16.3 million); net sales fell 8 percent (from US$23.2 billion to US$21.4 billion). Remember that there were actually very few Mac product introductions in 2013, beyond some tweaks to the MacBook Air line. Yet, as Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer pointed out in the conference-call with analysts that accompanied the release of the results, the Mac has increased its share of the PC market in 29 of the past 30 quarters. In a rapidly shrinking market, a slow loss can look like growth.

The iPod is still selling, but in such relatively insignificant quantities that it doesn’t even merit a mention in Apple’s earnings call. That could be because it’s contributing just 3 percent of Apple’s overall revenues these days.

Much of Apple’s business is seasonal, spurred on by fall product announcements and massive holiday-quarter sales. But there’s one part of Apple’s business that just keeps growing, quarter by quarter, seemingly impervious to seasonal fluctuations. It’s the iTunes/Software/Services revenue line, which has grown more or less continuously every quarter. For the most recent quarter, it generated 4.26 billion dollars, up from 3.5 billion in the year-ago quarter. iTunes/Software/Services revenue has doubled in size in the past three years, from US$2.15 billion in the first quarter of 2011.

Apple’s retail segment is most definitely a seasonal business, but it’s showing strong growth. In fiscal 2012 Apple’s retail outlets generated US$15 billion in revenue; in fiscal 2013 that number wasUS $20 billion.

During Monday’s conference call, one analyst commented that Apple was one of the very few companies he was tracking to show strong growth in China this past quarter. Indeed, while Apple’s revenue in the Americas was actually down from the previous sequential quarter, many other key Apple segments showed sequential growth, most notably China and Japan.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple to release Q4 earning results today, analysts looking for company to beat its own guidance

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 28th, 2013, 09:31
Category: Finance, News

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Apple’s Q4 financial results are due in via a conference call today and according to 9to5Mac and Fortune, more than half of the analysts included in Fortune’s survey expect the company to beat its high-end guidance of $37B. The average is driven up by the amateurs, who come in at US$37.38B, while the professionals expect just a touch under the top end at US$36.95B.

Predictions on both revenues and earnings do vary markedly, however. While the consensus view is that year-on-year revenues will be up 3 percent and earnings down 6 percent, even among the professionals the earnings estimates span a 15 percent range.

Apple beating its own guidance wouldn’t have been remarkable in the days when Apple gave absurdly pessimistic guidance and then blew it away, but would be impressive since Cook started offering realistic ranges …

Apple began offering realistic guidance this year, offering a range running from what it has “reasonable confidence” of achieving to what it “believes” it will do. In Q2, Apple slightly beat its high-end guidance of US$41-43B with revenues of US$43.6B, while in Q3 it came in just below its top-end number at US$35.3B.

The official launch of the iPhone in China is the big unknown in the equation, with some big numbers being bandied about, but no hard data.

It’s also likely that supplies of iPhone 5s models will play a large role in the numbers. Demand was extremely strong, but production was struggling to keep pace with the gold model in particular, whose popularity appeared to have taken Apple by surprise.

The earnings will be broadcast at 2 PM PT/5 PM ET via this link.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple to announce Q4 2013 earnings on October 28th

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 8th, 2013, 06:55
Category: Finance, News

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The financial results are coming.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Monday announced that it will release its fourth fiscal quarter results immediately following the close of the stock market on October 28.

The results, which cover the company’s operations from July through September, will include the first full week of sales for the company’s sales record-breaking iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

As usual, Apple will conduct a conference call to discuss the financial results on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. ET. In the last quarterly call, Apple reported earnings of US$6.9 billion on sales of 31.2 million iPhones, 14.6 million iPads, and 3.8 million Macs. That quarter saw Apple doing US$35.4 billion in total revenue.

The forthcoming call will likely give investors and tech industry observers some notion of just how well Apple’s newest iPhones are doing. The devices sold nine million units in just their first three days of availability, and investors will be eager to see how that may impact Apple’s bottom line. The new iPhones, though, were only on sale for the last ten days of the quarter, and their true impact may not be fully felt until Apple’s Q1 FY14 reporting.

Apple, though, did appear encouraged by the performance of its newest handsets. Following the launch weekend for the iPhone 5s and 5c, Apple revised its earnings guidance upward. The company expects its earnings to be near the high end of its previously provided range of US$34 to US$37 billion. It also believes its gross margin will fall at the higher end of its previous range of between 36 and 37 percent.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple confirms purchase of Cue, has yet to disclose final sale price

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Date: Friday, October 4th, 2013, 07:04
Category: Finance, News, Software

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It’s hard to say exactly WHAT Apple will do with Cue, but there’s some interesting possibilities.

Per AppleInsider and TechCrunch, Apple is said to have purchased Cue, a startup company behind a personal assistant app for iPhone which shut down just this week.

An anonymous source claimed on Thursday that Apple is buying Cue, which was formerly known as Greplin, for between US$50 million and US$60 million. The startup was a Y Combinator venture capital alumnus that reportedly obtained funding from both Sequoia Capital and Index Ventures.

The source shared that although Cue never disclosed their latest funding round, the company allegedly raised US$10 million from Index Ventures. The information provided could not be independently verified, and Apple declined to comment.

As of Thursday, Apple affirmed the acquisition, but as usual declined to offer specifics. Cue’s functionality was much like that of Google Now or Apple’s new iOS 7 contextual notifications, though it debuted before both of those services.

Cue announced to its users on Tuesday that the service is shutting down and is no longer available. Cue Premium users who bought a paid subscription, either through official iOS app or the company’s website, will receive a prorated refund.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause you,” the company said. “It’s been an incredible journey that wouldn’t have been possible without your loyal support.”

Cue’s functionality was much like that of Google Now or Apple’s new iOS 7 contextual notifications, though it debuted before both of those services.

Originally founded as “Greplin”, the company would index content from social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as pulling data from Gmail. For example, a single search for “Jim” would surface contacts from the user’s LinkedIn account, emails from Gmail, and documents from Dropbox.

The company transitioned in 2012 to become Cue, and offered a personal assistant application for Apple’s iOS that would automatically turn data such as flight or restaurant reservations into a daily agenda. Cue would accomplish this by collating and indexing a user’s contacts, files, and emails, then display important and timely information. The company was founded by entrepreneurs Daniel Gross and Robby Walker.

Cue was formerly run by Greg McAdoo, who was also previously associated with Bump, a company acquired by Google earlier this year for at least US$30 million. McAdoo has since moved on to become a venture capitalist at Sequoia Capital.

There’s no word as to how Apple will incorporate Cue’s technologies, but it’s another part of the company’s arsenal for somewhere down the road.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.