Revenue: If you thought the gross margins weren't examined closely enough, revenue numbers will really leave you scratching your head. Apple reported the second-best quarter in the history of the company, and the average amount of revenue per day was a record.
The only reason this quarter wasn't the best quarter ever for Apple was due to fewer days in the quarter than the year-ago period. On a daily basis, Apple sold more than any previous quarter.
In a nutshell, the year-ago period as the comparable is not a true comparison. After adjusting for the number of days, Apple enjoyed its best revenue and earnings quarter ever, and Tim Cook is now executing at a higher level than Steve Jobs based on earnings per share per day.
Apple's average weekly revenue in the same quarter last year was $3.3 billion, compared to $4.2 billion this year, an increase in holiday revenue of 27%. RIM and Nokia aren't selling records amounts of phones. Google, a company I am very bullish on, isn't making as much per phone sold as Apple.Future Growth: A shortage of "OMG" products, Google's Android, Apple iStuff lacks "cool points," and countless other reasons will have you believing Apple faces delisting and liquidation by summer if you let the media fearmongers have their way. The reported and estimated numbers don't support that thesis. Counting Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan as "Greater China," Apple increased revenue by 67% (don't forget the reporting period is one less week this year, so the growth rate is even more impressive). LTE support is expanding to 36 new carriers in countries Apple where doesn't currently offer support. The iPad Mini seems to be adding to sales, not cannibalizing sales. iPad sales averaged 1.1 million per week in the same period a year ago compared to 1.7 million this reported quarter. Call me crazy, but I just don't get a sense of impending doom. What's more, Apple is sitting on a Mt. Everest-sized pile of cash. About 30% of the market cap is dead presidents. I never use the full amount of cash to discount P/E and ROI, but even with a 50% haircut to be conservative, the 2.1% dividend may be the safest dividend on the planet.