Apple Posts Record $4.3bn Quarterly Profits

Apple has posted record quarterly revenues of $20.34bn (£12.85bn), and net profits of $4.31bn, also a record, for fiscal Q4, 2009. The revenue figure is 66.6 per cent up year-on-year ($12.21bn), while profits are 70 per cent higher than the $2.53bn reported for Q4, 2009, and ahead of the $3.8bn Apple had been expected to report. Apple is forecasting revenues of $23bn for Q1, 2011. Apple sold 14.1m iPhones in the quarter, 91 per cent more than in Q3, 2009, and 67.9 per cent up on the 8.4bn sold in Q3, 2010, despite Antennagate. It also sold 4.19m iPads. While this is an increase on the previous quarter, the iPad’s first, the rise is a relatively modest 28 per cent.

Presenting the results, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said: “We are blown away to report over $20bn in revenue and over $4bnin after-tax earnings – both all-time records for Apple. iPhone sales of 14.1 million were up 91 per cent year-over-year, handily beating the 12.1m phones RIM sold in their most recent quarter. We still have a few surprises left for the remainder of this calendar year.”

What those surprises might be is anyone’s guess, but don’t rule out an acquisition or two. In a follow-up analyst call, Jobs went on to say: “We strongly believe that one or more very strategic opportunities may come along, that we are in a unique position to take advantage of because of our strong cash position. We don’t let it burn a hole in our pocket, we don’t allow it to motivate us to do stupid acquisitions. And so I think that we’d like to continue to keep our powder dry, because we do feel that there are one or more strategic opportunities in the future.”

He also took the opportunity to take a swipe at Android, saying it was “disingenuous” of Google to characterize Android as open and iOS as closed. He didn’t have much time for the iPad contenders coming from various other companies either, describing the 7-inch tablets as “tweeners – too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with an iPad.”