Apple earnings grow, still disappoint Wall Street

Reading the news headlines out there, you'd think Apple's latest quarterly results were dismal. "Apple Inc delivered a second straight quarter of disappointing results and iPad sales fell well short of Wall Street's targets," reports Reuters. Looking at the data, though, it's hard to see what the Street is so worked up about. Apple's revenue and its net profits both grew compared to the same quarter a year ago, as did iPad sales:

   Q4 FY'11 Q3 FY'12 Q4 FY'12
Revenue $28.3 billion $35.0 billion $36.0 billion
Net profit $6.6 billion $8.8 billion $8.2 billion
Gross margin 40.3% 42.8% 40.0%

Here are the unit shipment figures for iPads as well as iPhones, Macs, and iPods:

   Q4 FY'11 Q3 FY'12 Q4 FY'12
iPhones 17.07 million 26.0 million 26.9 million
iPads 11.12 million 17.0 million 14.0 million
Macs 4.89 million 4.0 million 4.9 million
iPods 6.62 million 6.8 million 5.3 million

Apple CEO Tim Cook certainly doesn't sound disappointed. "We’re very proud to end a fantastic fiscal year with record September quarter results," he says in the results release announcement. (Remember, this was the last quarter of Apple's 2012 fiscal year, which doesn't quite correspond to the calendar year.)

Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer also weighs in, saying Apple "generated over $41 billion in net income and over $50 billion in operating cash flow" in its 2012 fiscal year. Looking ahead, Oppenheimer says he expects Apple's revenue to surge to $52 billion this quarter. That would be up from $46.3 billion for the first quarter of this fiscal year, or an increase of around 12%.

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