Apple goes all-out for world domination with record quarter, including $18bn (£11.8bn) in profits
Sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus helped Apple to its greatest ever set of financial results during the last quarter, the company has revealed.
The iPhone maker is now worth a staggering $645 billion (£424.9 billion) after announcing the most successful financial quarter of any company in history.
Apple recorded $74.6 bn (£49.1bn) in revenues over the last three months, with $18bn (£11.8bn) in profits, equivalent to a GDP bigger than Greece, equal to Yemen and almost the same as Denmark.
Shares in Apple rose 7 percent following the news, adding an additional $45bn (£29.6bn) to the company’s value.
The company also now has $178bn (£117.3bn) in cash, making it a potential force to be reckoned with in the mergers and acquisition business.
This astonishing growth over the last three months was fuelled by huge customer demand for the latest mobile devices, which saw Apple sell 75 million iPhones, equivalent to 34,000 an hour or nine per second.
This marks a 45 percent improvement over the same period in 2013, and far surpassed analyst expectations of around 65 million units.
The company has now shipped over one billion iOS devices, with Tim Cook revealing that the milestone unit was an iPhone 6 Plus that was shipped in November.
The results also mean that Apple has now become the second largest manufacturer of mobile handsets in the world, displacing former market leader Microsoft – which includes Nokia’s devices unit, but still placing behind Samsung, showing how much the device market has changed in the last few years.
“We’d like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter, which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO (pictured left). “Our revenue grew 30 percent over last year to $74.6 billion, and the execution by our teams to achieve these results was simply phenomenal.”
“Our exceptional results produced EPS growth of 48 per cent over last year, and $33.7 billion in operating cash flow during the quarter, an all-time record,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “We spent over $8 billion on our capital return program, bringing total returns to investors to almost $103 billion, over $57 billion of which occurred in just the last 12 months.”
But whilst Apple’s ascent is remarkable, it also serves as a stark reminder of how quickly fortunes can change, analysts warned.
“Today’s mobile handset market leaders, Samsung and Apple, do not have an unassailable position,” said Wayne Lam, Senior Analyst, Mobile Electronics at IHS.
“Samsung is showing signs of weakness with its handset shipments flat for the past two years. Apple too must be wary of new competitive threats if it is to maintain its position. Both leaders risk losing share to the fast growing brands from China such as Xiaomi, Lenovo and Huawei.”
This was shown by sales figures for Apple’s iPads, which proved a disappointment as sales fell 18 percent to 21.4m in the face of fierce competition.
On an earnings call following the results, Apple also announced it would begin shipping its first wearable, the Apple Watch, in April, marking a new market for the company to conquer.
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