Apple reports blockbuster earnings with iPhone growth increasing by 123%

Apple today announced its earnings for its most recent quarter, and reported earnings of $1.33 a share on revenue of $8.16 Billion. Put another way, that’s $1.21 Billion in profits. The general consensus among analysts hinted at an EPS of $1.08 a share on revenue of $8 Billion. Last year during the same quarter, Apple reported earnings of $1.16 a share on revenue of $7.51 Billion.

In a press release issued today, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer noted:

“We are extremely pleased to report the best non-holiday quarter revenue and earnings in our history. Apple’s financial condition remains very robust, with almost $29 billion in cash and marketable securities on our balance sheet.”

In accordance with expectations, Apple reported 2.2 million Mac sales which represents a 3% decline from the same quarter a year-ago.

iPhone and iPod sales figures were slightly higher than expected, with 11.01 million iPods sold and 3.79 million iPhones sold. In its press release, Apple pointed out that iPhone sales for the past quarter represent a 123% increase in unit growth from the same quarter a year-ago. Of course, last year’s quarter didn’t have the benefit of the iPhone 3G or the immensely popular iTunes App Store. Still, the increase is staggering.

Apple’s better than expected earnings were largely the result of higher than anticipated gross margins, which came in at 36.4% for the quarter, up from 32.9% during the same quarter a year-ago. This helps explain why analysts were fairly accurate in their revenue estimates, but way off base when it came to their EPS estimates. Apple COO Tim Cook noted that higher gross margins were largely the result of extremely strong iLife ’09 and iWork ’09 sales.

Apple’s earnings report should be a welcome surprise for investors, who have recently become bearish on the stock in light of surrounding economic conditions. Looking forward to the next quarter, Apple once again provided a range of guidance, and anticipates earnings to fall anywhere between $0.95 and $1.00 a share on revenue between 7.7 and $7.9 Billion.

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