SAN FRANCISCO—Apple Inc. Tuesday (April 24) reported another stellar quarter of sales and earnings, but delivered a sales target for the current quarter that was below most analysts' expectations.
Apple (Cupertino, Calif.) reported sales of $39.2 billion for the quarter ended March 31, down 15 percent compared to the previous quarter. Sales for the quarter were up 59 percent compared with the year-ago quarter. It was Apple's second highest sales quarter ever, trailing only the previous quarter.
Apple reported a profit for the quarter of $11.6 billion, or $12.30 per diluted share, down 11 percent from the previous quarter. The quarterly profit was up 94 percent compared with the year-ago quarter.
Apple's results for the quarter, the company's second quarter of fiscal 2012, came in above consensus analysts' expectations, which called for sales of $36.8 billion and earnings per share of $10.06 billion.
"We're extremely pleased with our record March quarter performance with earnings nearly doubling year-over-year," said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's chief financial officer, in a conference call with analysts following the quarterly report. "The new iPad is off to a tremendous start and is our fastest iPad rollout ever. We're thrilled with the global success of the iPhone 4S, which is now available in more than 100 countries, including China."
Oppenheimer and Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, said Apple's newest iPad, unveiled in March, has proven to be extremely popular. Apple said it sold 11.8 million iPads in the quarter, down 24 percent from the previous quarter but up 151 percent compared with the year-ago quarter.
"The new iPad is on fire. We're selling them as fast as we can make them," Oppenheimer said.
In two years since Apple started shipping the original iPad, Apple has sold a total of 67 million iPads, Cook said. He added that it took Apple 24 years to sell that many Macs, five years to sell that many iPhones and three years to sell that many iPods.
"We were extremely happy with the trajectory on all of those products," Cook said, adding that iPad is a "profound product."
Sales of iPhones in the quarter totaled 35.1 million, down 5 percent from the previous quarter but up 88 percent compared with the year-ago quarter. Apple said it sold 4 million Macs in the quarter, down 23 percent from the previous quarter but up 7 percent from the year-ago quarter. Apple also reported that it sold 7.7 million iPods during the quarter, a unit decline of 50 percent compared with the previous quarter and 15 percent compared to the year-ago quarter.
Apple reported that its gross margin for the quarter was 47.4 percent, up from 44.7 percent in the previous quarter and 41.4 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 64 percent of Apple's revenue in the quarter, the company said, up from 58 percent in the previous quarter.
But Apple said it expects both sales and profit to decline in the current quarter. The company said it expects sales of about $34 billion and earnings per share of about $8.68. Sales of $34 billion would represent a sequential decline of about 13 percent.
Apple's sales target for the current quarter came in below consensus analysts' expectations, which called for sales of about $37.4 billion, according to Yahoo Finance.