Apple releases best-ever quarterly earnings report

An Apple Inc. logo is displayed outside the exterior of Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

January 24, 2012 10:13:04 PM PST
Apple may need a new vault to hold all the cash it's making. The new iPhone and demand for the iPad gave the company a blowout holiday quarter. It released its best-ever quarterly earnings report Tuesday and revealed record-breaking sales and profits.

Apple already has more cash on hand than any other tech company, now it just made another $13 billion during the holidays.

"They are the driving engine of the Valley; the innovator, the leader, the star," Edward Jones Investment adviser David Amann said.

Apple is thriving because it's making products and offering services that consumers want.

"I love Apple support; I love being able to come to a store and have any question I have answered by very knowledgeable people, so I really enjoy it," Apple customer Andrew Kleis said.

Apple sold 37 million iPhones in the last three months of 2011 -- most of them the hot new 4S that has Siri, the personal assistant that takes voice commands. Almost 15.5 million iPads were sold, an increase of 128 percent over the same period a year ago. Apple computer sales shot up 26 percent.

Altogether, Apple did just over $46 billion in sales, and profits came in at $13 billion. That translates into earnings of $13.87 per share.

This is the first full quarter with Tim Cook as CEO. He assumed leadership when failing health took its toll on Steve Jobs.

The development of the hot-selling iPhone 4s and iPad was the result of Jobs' leadership.

"Until Apple announces a new product or some revolutionary new design, we won't know Tim Cook's ultimate signature on the Apple moniker," Amann said.

Global sales are fueling apple's success, responsible for 58 percent of its revenue.

Apple is seemingly on a non-stop growth curve, although no one can predict the future.

"They'll ebb and flow just like every other company, but as long as they've got the creative talent, and they keep getting good people and they keep their principles that have made the company what it is today, I think there's as good potential as anybody to succeed in the future," Apple business customer Jim Kelly said.

CEO Tim Cook admitted Apple didn't bet high enough in anticipating demand for the iPhone 4S. That suggested revenue and profits could have been even higher if it had more of them to sell.