Apple's 2011 Q3 sets all-time quarterly financial record

by Bill Fox, July 23, 2011

This past Tuesday Apple announced that its third fiscal quarter (Q3) of 2011 had the highest quarterly revenue for any financial quarter in its history. Earnings per share (EPS) of $7.79 exceeded the $5.80 consensus estimate of Wall Street analysts by over 34%. Revenue was $28.6 billion with a net quarterly profit of $7.3 billion, both of which are huge increases over the 2010 Q3 results by nearly 82 percent and 125 percent respectively, the highest year over year quarterly improvement on record. The gross margin was a terrific 42 percent, up from the 39 percent of Q3 last year.

Apple's cash on hand and short- and long-term investments increased nearly 16 percent to $76.2 billion from nearly $65.8 billion in Q2 of 2011.

Steve Jobs summed up the company's performance as "We're thrilled to deliver our best quarter ever. Right now, we're very focused and excited about bringing iOS 5 and iCloud to our users this fall."

Mac sales were up 14 percent to over 3.9 million, iPhone sales were up 142 percent to over 20 million and iPod sales were down 20 percent to over 7.5 million, all as compared with the third quarter of 2010. Apple's iPad sales reached over 9.2 million, up 183 percent from Q3 of 2010. Apple is still selling all the iPhone 4's that they can make and the long-promised white version was finally released in Q3.

Within the Macs, portable unit Mac sales growth of 13 percent was less than the 15 percent achieved by desktop unit sales growth. However, portables out sold desktops by about 2.5 to 1.

All of Apple's operating segments (Americas, Europe, Japan, Asia Pacific and retail stores) scored increased unit sales and revenue over the same quarter in 2010, averaging 14 percent growth in unit sales and 82 percent growth in revenue. The revenue of Apple's Asia-Pacific division had a third quarter of phenomenal year over year growth of 57 percent. Apple's retail stores also had increases in unit sales and revenue of 13 percent and 36 percent respectively.

Check out the interesting stuff discussed during Apple's call with analysts that is posted here.

Apple forecast a small dip for next quarter's revenue at about $25 billion with a lower earnings per share of about $5.50. Apple's forecasts have been quite conservative in the past.

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