NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Saying I told you so is often perceived as somewhat of an antagonistic quality. It's not something that anyone with grace would dare say -- particularly someone such as myself who wants to be perceived as having some modicum of class. And besides, there's a lot of honor in taking the high road, especially these days as it appears to be the road less traveled. So it is with this understanding that I can indeed resist the temptation of saying I told you so. But it's not because this comes easy.
On Tuesday, upon the release of my article suggesting that tech giant Apple ( AAPL) would begin its march towards a quadruple-digit share price by releasing a solid second-quarter report, both my iPhone and iPad alerted me with text messages and emails advising that I needed therapy. Remarkably, I almost listened and took that advice upon seeing the stock drop to $555 after having closed the previous session at $571. At that point the stock had lost $90 off of its $644 high that it registered on April 10 or roughly 14% of its value. To make matters worse, in my mind there was Qualcomm's ( QCOM) supply chain concerns coupled with AT&T's ( T) less than stellar iPhone sales both served to heighten the level of anxiety that I felt after now having gone on record suggesting that not only was Apple going to deliver another market-beating performance, but it was also heading to $1,000. I turned off my iPhone to ignore the ridicule and wondered if this was the end of my writing career. It is remarkable when one considers the stark contrast of early April when upon the release of the new iPad as well as the company's announced dividend, it seems everything was going right. But lately, the entire market has become a victim of "Murphy's Law" -- that is to say, anything that could have gone wrong to this point, has. That was just enough to make me question my level of loyalty. But then something happened, Apple once again defied logic and common sense and reminded the market (once again) what can be accomplished when you meet excellent vision with exceptional execution.
|Apple reported its fourth-quarter results after the markets closed Tuesday.|
The Quarter That Was
I have run out of words that can accurately describe Apple's recent string of performances - many of which continue to disregard reason and sound basis. On Tuesday, the company announced a 94% increase in earnings to $11.6 billion or $12.30 per diluted share on quarterly revenue of $39.19 billion. This is remarkable when you consider that in the same quarter of a year ago the company generated revenue and net profit of (only) $24.7 billion and $6 billion respectively. Gross margin arrived at 47.4% compared to 41.4% in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 64% of the quarter's revenue. Not only did revenue surge 59%, Apple shipped 35.1 million iPhones and 11.8 million iPads in the period. The results were above expectations, with analysts expecting earnings of $10.07 a share on revenue of $36.96 billion, according to a consensus estimate from FactSet Research. I was pretty astonished by the fact that Apple was able to log 88% unit growth above the same quarter last year, while also selling 151% more iPads. Amazingly, there were skeptics ready to pull the curtain on its magic act and making demands for proof that it can still produce the rate of growth that Wall Street continues to expect. I'm not saying " I told you so," but the company's words certainly resonated loudly for many who remained believers. Apple's CEO Tim Cook offered the following:
We're thrilled with sales of over 35 million iPhones and almost 12 million iPads in the March quarter. The new iPad is off to a great start, and across the year you're going to see a lot more of the kind of innovation that only Apple can deliver.Our record March quarter results drove $14 billion in cash flow from operations," said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's CFO. "Looking ahead to the third fiscal quarter, we expect revenue of about $34 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $8.68."
Bottom LineThese results suggest several things. Not least is that, as dominant as Apple has been over the years, it is just now on the cusp of a huge achievement: It has a product in the iPhone that has gained not only a strong and steady demand around the globe, but continues to grow at a remarkable rate. The question is, why did anyone ever doubt that it could produce these results? In my article on Tuesday, I closed with the following:
While some investors may have indeed opted to apply the "bird in the hand" theory and cash in ahead of the company's announcement, it would not surprise me in the least bit to see Apple reward investors that are still holding with a few more surprises as it did when it announced its dividend. At current levels I will be buying Apple on any signs of weakness before or after the announcement, because not only am I a connoisseur for profits, I also enjoy what is interesting.And, just so we understand each other, I'm not saying I told you so - I refuse to do it.