With Apple’s release of their financials for the first quarter of 2012, stock prices have soared to 10% above their value pre-announcement (helping Apple to regain a little ground lost in the days leading up to the earnings report). As analysts expected, the news was all good with a reported $39.2 billion made with a net quarterly profit of $11.6 billion (up from $24.7 billion and net quarterly profit of $6 billion from the same quarter last year), not to mention the company’s reported assets totally over $151 billion with $110 billion in cash reserves (which they have announced they will dip into in order to start paying its investors a dividend).
Apple CEO Tim Cook happily reported that: “We’re thrilled with sales of over 35 million iPhones and almost 12 million iPads in the March quarter.” And why shouldn’t be be? The only disappointing result was the declining sales of iPod music players, which dipped 15 per cent below numbers from the same quarter last year coming in at 7.7 million units but when you consider that Apple sold 35.1 million iPhones this quarter, more than doubling the 18.65 million smartphones sold in the previous year’s corresponding time period, then it would seem safe to assume that many consumers who would normally have been after an iPod were persuaded to take the jump to an iPhone instead.
Once again Apple has hushed those who seek to suggest that the world’s most valuable technology company is losing ground and shown that (for the moment) they just might be unstoppable; as long as they don’t lose their momentum. Expectations are running very high for Apple as they head on a seemingly downward slope to the fall when most people are expecting the release of a new version of the iPhone –the much anticipated version 5 of the device. While each new product release seems to suggest that Apple can do no wrong, as they set the bar higher for other companies they are doing it for themselves too. This becomes particularly true as more and more people find themselves with existing iPhone and iPad devices and need to be truly inspired to spend the money to upgrade.
One thing is for certain, analysts will be watching stock prices very closely. Many tech companies have soared in the past only to bottom out moments (or weeks, or months) later… though with Apple rumored to have a new television product and an operating system upgrade still to come this year in addition to the hopes for an iPhone 5, there may not be much to worry about.