Apple has announced financial results for its fiscal 2014 first quarter ended December 28, 2013. Thanks to holiday season and great product lineup, the company managed to report a record quarter. At the same time, the firm experienced a drop in profit margins, an alarming sign which means that the company has to spend more to earn more.
Apple posted record quarterly revenue of $57.6 billion and quarterly net profit of $13.1 billion, or $14.50 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $54.5 billion and net profit of $13.1 billion, or $13.81 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 37.9% compared to 38.6% in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 63% of the quarter’s revenue.
“We are really happy with our record iPhone and iPad sales, the strong performance of our Mac products and the continued growth of iTunes, Software and Services. We love having the most satisfied, loyal and engaged customers, and are continuing to invest heavily in our future to make their experiences with our products and services even better,” said Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple.
Apple sold 51 million iPhones, an all-time quarterly record, compared to 47.8 million in the year-ago quarter. The expanded geography of sales as well as holiday season positively impacted shipments of the iPhone.
In the U.S. market, Apple remains the leading smartphone manufacturer, with iPhone accounting for 41% of smartphone subscribers in the three-month period ending in November, according to ComScore. In other parts of the world sales of iPhone also grew significantly in the Q4 2013.
During the conference call with financial analysts Apple admitted that sales of the iPhone 5c were well below the company's initial expectations.
Apple also sold 26 million iPads during the quarter, also an all-time quarterly record, compared to 22.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Apple said that during the quarter it could not fulfill demand for iPads due to simultaneous launch of two new models – the iPad Air and the iPad mini with retina displays. Another sales driver in the quarter was iPad mini’s price-cut to $299.
iPad sales were traditionally high in the USA and very robust in China, where sales more than doubled year over year. Apple also experienced strong iPad sales growth in the Middle East, Latin America, Russia, and parts of Western Europe.
The Company sold 4.8 million Macs, compared to 4.1 million in the year-ago quarter, n increase of 19%, making this among our best Mac quarters ever. The growth was driven by significantly increased sales of iMac and MacBook Air, while sales of MacBook Pro also remained strong.
Mac sales grew in each region, led by Europe and greater China.
Sales of iPod personal digital media players dropped to 6.049 million a new low for a holiday quarter. Keeping in mind that functions of the iPod are available on iPhone and iPad, it is not surprising that sales of such devices drop.
Dividends and Predictions
Apple’s board of directors has declared a cash dividend of $3.05 per share of the company’s common stock. The dividend is payable on February 13, 2014, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on February 10, 2014.
“We generated $22.7 billion in cash flow from operations and returned an additional $7.7 billion in cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases during the December quarter, bringing cumulative payments under our capital return program to over $43 billion,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s chief financial officer.
For the second quarter of its fiscal 2014, Apple expects revenue between $42 billion and $44 billion, gross margin between 37% and 38%, operating expenses between $4.3 billion and $4.4 billion and other income/(expense) of $200 million.