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Best quarter ever: a closer look at Apple's record Q108 earnings

post #1 of 52
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In a conference call reporting earnings for Apple's fiscal Q1, the quarter ending in December, Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer announced he was "very pleased to report the best quarter ever" for the company, with revenue of $9.6 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.58 billion, resulting in $1.76 per diluted share.

That's an increase of over $2 billion from the same quarter last year, when Apple reported revenue of $7.1 billion and net quarterly profit of $1 billion, or $1.14 per diluted share.

The company reported a gross margin of 34.7 percent, up from 31.2 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 45 percent of the quarters revenue.

Macs on Fire

Chief operating officer Tim Cook noted that the "Mac business is on fire," and that sales of computers were higher than Apple had internally projected for the quarter. That strong demand resulted in Mac inventory falling below the company's goal of maintaing 4 to 5 weeks of channel inventory, down to a lean supply of 3 weeks.

Apple shipped 2,319,000 Macs, racking up 44 percent unit growth and 47 percent revenue growth over the year-ago quarter. Macs currently make up 47 percent of Apple's business. The strong growth in Mac sales outpaced overall PC growth by a factor of five and growth in education by a similar figure, based on market expansion numbers published by IDC.

While Mac growth has been fueled by brisk laptops sales in the past, desktop Mac sales rebounded to achieve 53 percent growth thanks to rapid sales of the new Aluminum iMac models released in August. The new iMac was even a strong seller in Japan, where sales of desktop computer have actually shrunk. That helped to Apple to grow in the region after quarters of disappointing sales.



The Magic iPod Touch

Another popular product fueling growth in Japan was the iPod Touch, which Apple representatives repeatedly highlighted as "the first mainstream WiFi platform for mobile applications."

Unlike previous years where Apple achieved iPod unit sales growth through sales of cheap Shuffles and Nanos, this year the Touch played a critical role in expanding the iPod from a music player toward being a multipurpose mobile wireless device.

Oppenheimer and Cook explained that Apple entered the quarter with new goals for the iPod: maintaining Apple's high existing market share in the US and growing internationally, while expanding the business into a new WiFi mobile platform pioneered by the iPhone.

Facing the challenges of increased competition from cheaper, simpler devices and what analysts have feared might be a saturated market for MP3 players, Apple had to risk offering a new device with more computing power and an expensive, larger LCD display.

The enthusiastic response to the iPod Touch resulted in flatter sales volumes for iPods overall but an Average Sales Price of $181, which Oppenheimer noted sent year over year revenues up 72 percent. Apple still met its guidance for iPod sales, selling 22,121,000 units, representing five percent unit growth and 17 percent revenue growth over the year-ago quarter.

While sales growth of the iPod was relatively flat in the US, and Apple may have sacrificed some unit growth by marketing an innovative new premium product with the iPod Touch. Cook noted that international iPod sales were up and "share gains stunning" in the UK, France, Spain, and across Asia.

The quarter also marked the "highest growth rate in revenue for the iPod in a year."

International iPhone Growth

Quarterly iPhone sales were 2,315,000, bringing Apple's cumulative smartphone sales for the 2007 calendar year to 3.7 million. In the first two weeks of 2008, Apple sold another 300,000 units, breaking the 4 million mark for Macworld Expo. That suggests iPhone sales are not losing any momentum.

When asked about the number of iPhones sold with the intent of being unlocked, Cook described the number as "significant", but said Apple was "unsure how to reliably estimate" the actual number. Increased sales during the holiday gift buying season made it difficult to compare sales with activations because some recipients may choose to activate their new phones in the future after their current mobile contract expires.

Cook said the unlocked sales were a problem, but also "an expression of strong interest in iPhone globally," and therefore not among the worst problems to have. He described iPhone momentum as high and reported being very happy with the late 2007 iPhone launches in the UK, Germany, and France. Apple now has 2,500 storefronts selling the iPhone in Europe and around 2,100 in the US.

Apple reiterated plans to expand the iPhone into other European markets and Asia within the company's fiscal year 2008, which ends in September, but refused to comment on new product introductions, including a 3G model, or specific plans for individual regions such as Japan or China.

Sales of the iPhone in Europe presented "no obvious evidence of cannibalization" of iPod sales, but Cook noted that it may have had some impact on iPod growth in the US, where iPod unit growth was softer for a variety of reasons, including the current economic downturn.

What's in the Pipeline: MacBook Air

Apple representatives avoided making economic precautions about the outlook of the US consumer electronics market, but reiterated plans to continue to innovate and deliver desirable products to "delight customers and gain share."

When asked if the product pipeline would be as exciting as last year, Apple representatives expressed being "very confident in our business strategy and products." Consumer reaction to the MacBook Air has been "great with strong orders," but Cook noted it was too soon to tell if the Air would dramatically expand Apple's laptop business or serve to replace sales of MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops.

While Apple has warned about the risk of high component pricing eating into its operations in the past, Cook noted that the market is currently favorable, with DRAM and NAND Flash memory in "oversupply conditions" and LCD, hard drives, and optical discs in balance. Most other components are seeing historic level price declines, he added.

iTunes Rentals and Apple TV

Gene Munster of Piper Jaffrey asked if Apple still views Apple TV as a hobby. Cook responded by echoing the comments Jobs made in his keynote, admitting that "many companies have tried and missed. With the Apple TV Take Two, we think we have it right this time. I think we have a great product."

Cross Research asked if Apple sees the new iTunes movie rentals as an incremental boost to sales of Apple TV and iPods or a new conduit of profitability. Oppenheimer reiterated that Apple's "objective with the iTunes Store is to run it a little above break even, to sell iPods and Macs. That's our strategy."

Apple TV sales and the new movie rental business associated with it appears to be trending toward the company's big news of the year, as noted in Apple TV Promises to Take 2008.

Retail Sales Inferno

Apple's own retail stores earned an average of 8.5 million in revenues per location, adding up to $1.7 billion in income in the quarter, a 53 percent increase over last year. There were 38.4 million visitors, an increase of 10 million over the previous year's quarter.

Apple's 204 stores, 25 of which are outside the US, sold over a half million Macs to customers, half of whom were new to the platform. Its retail stores also performed 300,000 personal training sessions.

The company plans to open 35 to 40 new retail stores in fiscal 2008, including more new international stores than were opened last year, with China highlighted among the new international locations. The company's US retail sales are are up 27 percent, and international retail sales are up 46 percent.

Apple also plans to dramatically expand its relationship with Best Buy, which currently involves 286 stores. Over the next six months, the two partners will expand Mac sales into 600 Best Buy locations. Cook reported being "very happy with their relationship."

Leopard Sales

The company also reported strong earnings from software sales, which along with a favorable component market, helped to boost margins to 34.7 percent.

Apple reported revenues of $170 million on retail copies of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard in its first quarter of sales, compared to $100 million in 10.4 Tiger sales in its debut quarter back in 2005. Apple estimates that 19 percent of the installed base of Macs are now running Leopard.

Strong retail sales of Leopard came despite record Mac sales, which come bundled with the new operating system. Cook observed that Leopard has helped fuel new Mac sales in addition to boosting the company's software revenues.

Cash on Hand

Apple's rich retail and education sales have also been matched by strong sales associated with pro audio and video markets. In addition, Apple's iPhone and Apple TV sales have accrued $1.44 billion in deferred revenue, which the company accounts as an annuity-like profit stream on a subscription basis.

The result is a strong cash position, with $18.4 billion in cash reserves and no debt. Apple added another $3 billion in cash, $2.76 billion of which came from operations. "We are, I think," Oppenheimer said, "managing the business very very well."

What will Apple do with its cash pile? Oppenheimer noted that "stock buyback programs and other forms of returning cash are discussed with the board from time to time, but our preference continues to be to maintain a strong balance sheet in order to preserve our flexibility to make strategic investments and or acquisitions."

As noted in Analysts, Investors Take Apple to Task For its Best Quarter Ever, the strong earnings report wasn't enough to turn around the recent stock dive which began in the week prior to Macworld Expo.

In addition to the suspects profiled in Who Was the Biggest Loser at Macworld?, it appears the biggest Macworld losers in January have been the speculative short term investors ready to dump their stock at basement prices in a challenging economic environment.
post #2 of 52
Apple's stores aren't doing too badly it seems. The inferno reference seems a bit out of place.
post #3 of 52
iPod sales growth is crap, so the iPod business is just a no-growth cash cow now (kind of like most of Microsoft) - it makes it much harder to justify a high growth rate P/E for Apple when almost half of their revenue (4 billion out of 9.6 billion came from iPods, 22 mil ipods * $181/ipod) came from no-growth business.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/6122...h?source=yahoo
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post #4 of 52
I have a few suggestions for Apple to spend their cash on:

1. Buy Ice Cream for every buyer of Apple products in the last year (good ice cream, not those little tubs with the wooden spoons)

2. Give back the $20 they took from iTouch early adopters to get the "real" features crippled in the initial launch

3. Buy Steve a Pony (Hyundai or otherwise)

4. Buy Norway and convert it to luxury condo's

5. Buy what is left of Steve Ballmer's testicular fortitude (sell Micheal Dell's on ebay, we are done with it)

6. Develop a perpertual motion machine

7. End World Hunger

8. Buy Apple records and bring the family back together at last

9. Build an invisible laptop - then market it the Macbook Nothing and charge a monthly ownership fee

10. Buy off Apple Rumors (oops, I think they did that!)
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post #5 of 52
The data on Japan is very good news, and suggests some of the reasoning behind the push behind the Air in the country. It is about time Apple started making headway over here and the Air is the way. If they would stick a TV tuner in the iMac, they wouldn't be able to make enough of them...

Hopefully the extra cash-flow will help rectify some of the major problems plaguing Apple Japan: staff that borders on no training, horrible support, a bad image from low manufacturing quality and poor reseller support. The latter is improving recently and they are very aware of the other problems and seem to be working on them.

The Air received tremendous placement last week on Japanese TV (Apple had to take the computers to the studios and train the reporters in a very short time right after the Keynote) and Apple reps are visiting local resellers on a very regular basis as of last month (in preparation of the Air??)

HOWEVER: Things that need fixing in order to really do well in Japan:

Fix the Call Center. It sucks. The customers say this. The resellers say this. The Mac Geniuses say this. The sales reps at Apple Stores say this. The regional sales rep says this. It is outsourced and, in a word: pathetic. Close it (end the contract) and start over with dedicated staff.

Fix the online Store. Its products have a higher failure rate than those sold by other resellers (my direct personal experience). Its training is severely lacking; reps do not know their products and are incapable of pitching them.

Improve quality control now. There are too many problems with Apple products, period. Resellers say that the number of Macs requiring repairs is many times the total of all other makers combined, and they outsell Macs by many factors; my local reseller confessed that they cannot recommend Apple products for this very reason. The nanos in the store still have tilted screens, months after Apple was first informed of the problem; of all their competitors, not a single one could be found with such a blemish. Even true Apple fans are very cautious making new purchases. A little investment would go a long way to rectify this.

With over 18 billion in the bank, a little invested wisely would make a very good refund.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #6 of 52
jobber,

I think the inferno reference was a positive (as in the apple stores are really doing well, they're on fire) not a slam on the stores. I think the comment was completely appropriate.
post #7 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

iPod sales growth is crap, so the iPod business is just a no-growth cash cow now (kind of like most of Microsoft) - it makes it much harder to justify a high growth rate P/E for Apple when almost half of their revenue (4 billion out of 9.6 billion came from iPods, 22 mil ipods * $181/ipod) came from no-growth business.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/6122...h?source=yahoo

Saturated market? Better competition? Low quality control? A mix of the three?

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #8 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

iPod sales growth is crap, so the iPod business is just a no-growth cash cow now (kind of like most of Microsoft) - it makes it much harder to justify a high growth rate P/E for Apple when almost half of their revenue (4 billion out of 9.6 billion came from iPods, 22 mil ipods * $181/ipod) came from no-growth business.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/6122...h?source=yahoo

Do you seriously think that Apple does not know or see this? And, what makes you think that they do not already have something in the pipeline to take this to the next stage? (I think that the vague noises that they made around iPod Touch as a mobile/wifi platform are a clue).
post #9 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

The data on Japan is very good news, and suggests some of the reasoning behind the push behind the Air in the country. It is about time Apple started making headway over here and the Air is the way. If they would stick a TV tuner in the iMac, they wouldn't be able to make enough of them...

Hopefully the extra cash-flow will help rectify some of the major problems plaguing Apple Japan: staff that borders on no training, horrible support, a bad image from low manufacturing quality and poor reseller support. The latter is improving recently and they are very aware of the other problems and seem to be working on them.

The Air received tremendous placement last week on Japanese TV (Apple had to take the computers to the studios and train the reporters in a very short time right after the Keynote) and Apple reps are visiting local resellers on a very regular basis as of last month (in preparation of the Air??)

HOWEVER: Things that need fixing in order to really do well in Japan:

Fix the Call Center. It sucks. The customers say this. The resellers say this. The Mac Geniuses say this. The sales reps at Apple Stores say this. The regional sales rep says this. It is outsourced and, in a word: pathetic. Close it (end the contract) and start over with dedicated staff.

Fix the online Store. Its products have a higher failure rate than those sold by other resellers (my direct personal experience). Its training is severely lacking; reps do not know their products and are incapable of pitching them.

Improve quality control now. There are too many problems with Apple products, period. Resellers say that the number of Macs requiring repairs is many times the total of all other makers combined, and they outsell Macs by many factors; my local reseller confessed that they cannot recommend Apple products for this very reason. The nanos in the store still have tilted screens, months after Apple was first informed of the problem; of all their competitors, not a single one could be found with such a blemish. Even true Apple fans are very cautious making new purchases. A little investment would go a long way to rectify this.

With over 18 billion in the bank, a little invested wisely would make a very good refund.

These are some truly fantastic suggestions. I hope someone from Apple corporate is reading this.
post #10 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

These are some truly fantastic suggestions. I hope someone from Apple corporate is reading this.

The rep who came to my local reseller this past weekend listened and took notes and said he was going to provide feedback to his superiors. The guy was young but good, and if he is the face of the new Apple Japan, then there is hope.

Supposedly he is coming to town again late this week, so I will try to see what he has come up with.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #11 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

iPod sales growth is crap, so the iPod business is just a no-growth cash cow now (kind of like most of Microsoft) - it makes it much harder to justify a high growth rate P/E for Apple when almost half of their revenue (4 billion out of 9.6 billion came from iPods, 22 mil ipods * $181/ipod) came from no-growth business.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/6122...h?source=yahoo

That's an extremely limited view of the situation.

Sure, number of units sold only went up 5%. But the average selling price of an iPod went up 72%. That's huge.

So the amount of iPods sold seems to be slowing BUT people are shifting from the cheaper iPods to the more expensive ones. I don't see that as a bad tradeoff. The market is going to reach a saturation point where tons of people have a nano or 5.x "big" ipod and will be content with it for a while.

But the people who love their current iPods for music and video are going to get itchy for an iPhone or touch before long to get in on the wifi web browsing. As those are updated and prices come down, it will lead to the next generation of upgrades (or people buying second ipods).

And don't forget that sales of macs continue to rise and gain ever increasing market share. Even if iPod sales were totally flat, the company is looking very good in terms of computer sales. The air, along with the iPhone and touch, look to have some serious potential for improving apple's fortunes in Japan. And I think we will see more models this year. I think a tiny subnotebook or tablet is possible in addition to the air, as well as the infamously long requested xMac.
post #12 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

With over 18 billion in the bank, a little invested wisely would make a very good refund.

I think almost all of that is invested in some form or another. It's just a matter of where it is invested and whether it should be moved around.
post #13 of 52
Apple should buy TiVo.
post #14 of 52
I don't have yesterday's figures handy, but has anyone simply added iPhone sales to the iPod column as well to see if there really was a 'dip' in iPod sales. The iPhone IS an iPod after all.
post #15 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

That's an extremely limited view of the situation.

Sure, number of units sold only went up 5%. But the average selling price of an iPod went up 72%. That's huge.

So the amount of iPods sold seems to be slowing BUT people are shifting from the cheaper iPods to the more expensive ones. I don't see that as a bad tradeoff. The market is going to reach a saturation point where tons of people have a nano or 5.x "big" ipod and will be content with it for a while.

But the people who love their current iPods for music and video are going to get itchy for an iPhone or touch before long to get in on the wifi web browsing. As those are updated and prices come down, it will lead to the next generation of upgrades (or people buying second ipods).

And don't forget that sales of macs continue to rise and gain ever increasing market share. Even if iPod sales were totally flat, the company is looking very good in terms of computer sales. The air, along with the iPhone and touch, look to have some serious potential for improving apple's fortunes in Japan. And I think we will see more models this year. I think a tiny subnotebook or tablet is possible in addition to the air, as well as the infamously long requested xMac.

These numbers are without the iPhone figures. While they should be kept separate for Apple's accounting, when we determine how many iPods are being sold year after year I think we should add them as most iPhone users have replaced their iPod for an iPhone. I know I have.
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post #16 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

I don't have yesterday's figures handy, but has anyone simply added iPhone sales to the iPod column as well to see if there really was a 'dip' in iPod sales. The iPhone IS an iPod after all.

Good question - do ipod growth numbers include iPhone or is it counted separately?
post #17 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I think almost all of that is invested in some form or another. It's just a matter of where it is invested and whether it should be moved around.

The cash is usually left lying around in money market accounts, earning (I'll bet) no more than 2% to 3% (maybe max 4%) in returns. (Don't have time to look up their recent filings, but you may want to take a look at the details of the 'financial income' in the footnotes).
post #18 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkral View Post

jobber,

I think the inferno reference was a positive (as in the apple stores are really doing well, they're on fire) not a slam on the stores.

That's what I assumed too.

Quote:
I think the comment was completely appropriate.

Well only if you consider novel use of words 'completely appropriate' is such a text. Inferno is a fire out of control, not exactly something you want to use as a metaphor for a delightful trend.
post #19 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

That's an extremely limited view of the situation.

Sure, number of units sold only went up 5%. But the average selling price of an iPod went up 72%. That's huge.

Where did you get that info? It does not jive with the numbers I have.

According to wikipedia, the year ago quarter had 7.1 billion in revenue, 48% from iPod (3.4B). 3.4B / 21,066,000 ipods = $161 per ipod a year ago.

(181 - 161)/161 = 12.4% higher selling price per iPod than a year ago
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post #20 of 52
OK, easy lads. I think everybody could understand easily what was meant. Perhaps a different word could have been used, but writing is a creative process... otherwise a lot of current millionaires would still be average Joes and Janes.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #21 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Where did you get that info? It does not jive with the numbers I have.

According to wikipedia, the year ago quarter had 7.1 billion in revenue, 48% from iPod (3.4B). 3.4B / 21,066,000 ipods = $161 per ipod a year ago.

(181 - 161)/161 = 12.4% higher selling price per iPod than a year ago


From the article:

The enthusiastic response to the iPod Touch resulted in flatter sales volumes for iPods overall but an Average Sales Price of $181, up 72%. Apple still met its guidance for iPod sales, selling 22,121,000 units, representing five percent unit growth and 17 percent revenue growth over the year-ago quarter.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

From the article:

The enthusiastic response to the iPod Touch resulted in flatter sales volumes for iPods overall but an Average Sales Price of $181, up 72%. Apple still met its guidance for iPod sales, selling 22,121,000 units, representing five percent unit growth and 17 percent revenue growth over the year-ago quarter.

Somebody did a wrong calculation, I re-read the earnings call transcript and they said "ASP increased to $181" - I think that the 72% bit was added by the apple insider editors or something, not only is it wrong (as far as I can tell anyway) - Appleinsider is the only place where that figure shows up (also as far as I can tell). The only 72% number that I can find is Apples marketshare in players, maybe that is what was meant and there was a bit of an editing mistake or something.

Anyway, it does not matter. Do you think that the average sales price of an iPod can keep on going up? Average sales prices can only add a few more quarters of growth at most - average sales price increases are a short term story, not providing the kind of long term growth that justifies a high P/E ratio.
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post #23 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Anyway, it does not matter. Do you think that the average sales price of an iPod can keep on going up? Average sales prices can only add a few more quarters of growth at most - average sales price increases are a short term story, not providing the kind of long term growth that justifies a high P/E ratio.

The sales price going up shows that people are moving towards the high end models, in many cases the touch.

Prices don't have to keep going up indefinitely...do you think that the growth rate can't increase again in the future when more people start migrating to iPhones, touches, and other new models from apple?
post #24 of 52
Why does the market have to grow, anyway? It can remain at a high figure, turning over lots of cash and remaining steady. Declining is a different matter.

Growth is also not always a good thing: Starbucks is trying to slow its growth in the US because it was getting too big, too fast. Sometimes its better to solidify your position.

But then, I don't play the stock market and couldn't give a hoot about making money off of someone else's efforts. I don't believe in free rides; then tend to be rather dangerous (aapl is down 27 points right now and I am not worried at all).

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

The sales price going up shows that people are moving towards the high end models, in many cases the touch.

Prices don't have to keep going up indefinitely...do you think that the growth rate can't increase again in the future when more people start migrating to iPhones, touches, and other new models from apple?

To even have zero growth, every existing iPod owners has to upgrade their iPods/iPhones every three years as it is. Existing customers do not provide meaningful revenue growth - new customers do. Existing customers just keep the zero growth part alive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

Why does the market have to grow, anyway?

Apple can only command a premium P/E if it is growing fast, when it stops growing fast the P/E ratio contracts (because it is then competing with treasury bills and other non-growth investments).
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post #26 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

Why does the market have to grow, anyway? It can remain at a high figure, turning over lots of cash and remaining steady. Declining is a different matter.

Growth is also not always a good thing: Starbucks is trying to slow its growth in the US because it was getting too big, too fast. Sometimes its better to solidify your position.

But then, I don't play the stock market and couldn't give a hoot about making money off of someone else's efforts. I don't believe in free rides; then tend to be rather dangerous (aapl is down 27 points right now and I am not worried at all).

haha You make investing sound like easy money. If I were to sell today I would be down "a bundle" from a month ago. I hardly consider that a free ride.
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post #27 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

To even have zero growth, every existing iPod owners has to upgrade their iPods/iPhones every three years as it is. Existing customers do not provide meaningful revenue growth - new customers do. Existing customers just keep the zero growth part alive.



Apple can only command a premium P/E if it is growing fast, when it stops growing fast the P/E ratio contracts (because it is then competing with treasury bills and other non-growth investments).

Thank the gods that I didn't get into financial stuff. What a strange place. I think it's time to go see what the neighbor's cat is up to...

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

haha You make investing sound like easy money. If I were to sell today I would be down 6 figures from a month ago. I hardly consider that a free ride.

As indeed I said: there is danger involved. It's a risk that I simply will not take.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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post #29 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

To even have zero growth, every existing iPod owners has to upgrade their iPods/iPhones every three years as it is. Existing customers do not provide meaningful revenue growth - new customers do. Existing customers just keep the zero growth part alive.

Apple is still selling plenty of ipods to new customers and selling upgrades to existing iPod owners. The touch and iPhone provide existing users a reason to upgrade as well as more incentive for new customers. And apple will continue to develop new versions in the future with even more functionality.

If apple was just selling mp3 players, the market would eventually get saturated and sales would peter out. As they add new features, they keep reinventing the market and give people a reason to buy the new models (which can be more expensive if they are compelling enough).
post #30 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

As indeed I said: there is danger involved. It's a risk that I simply will not take.

Gotcha. That "free rides" comment through me off and put me on a slight defensive.

PS: could you edit your post to remove the 2nd sentence. I shouldn't be posting such figures, even if they are vague. Thanks.
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post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

haha You make investing sound like easy money. If I were to sell today I would be down 6 figures from a month ago. I hardly consider that a free ride.

Investing can be fairly easy money as long as you have a good strategy. And a big part of that strategy is investing for the long term.

It's smart to be conservative with investing, but it's dumb to be TOO conservative. Investing in individual stocks is definitely risky, but things like index funds are generally pretty safe, especially if your timeframe for investing is long enough (investing for retirement).

It's a huge mistake to avoid investing just because it seems risky, going with investments that barely beat inflation is throwing money away.
post #32 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

Apple is still selling plenty of ipods to new customers and selling upgrades to existing iPod owners. The touch and iPhone provide existing users a reason to upgrade as well as more incentive for new customers. And apple will continue to develop new versions in the future with even more functionality.

If apple was just selling mp3 players, the market would eventually get saturated and sales would peter out. As they add new features, they keep reinventing the market and give people a reason to buy the new models (which can be more expensive if they are compelling enough).

Too bad that does not seem to be showing up in the quarterly numbers, then.
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post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Too bad that does not seem to be showing up in the quarterly numbers, then.

I guess you're just interpreting the numbers differently.
post #34 of 52
Probably the single most important fact that is being ignored by most investors is that Apple is significantly underreporting their earnings. Reported net profit is $1.56B or $1.76 per diluted share. Positive cash flow from operations is $2.76B or $3.11 per diluted share.

Basically, there seems to be about $1.2B difference between the reported net profit and the actual cash flow. What is the source of this difference? My guess is the deferred iPhone revenues result in about $500 in "deferred profit" for each iPhone sold. This profit will be recognized over the next 8 quarters instead of the current quarter. If Apple can keep selling iPhones at the rate of approximately 2.5 million units per quarter, we will see an incremental 125M profit each quarter for the next 7 quarters. This means there will be close to an additional $1B net profit from previous quarters in two years, assuming that the iPhone unit sales stay flat and Apple's profit margins for iPhone also stays flat. (The more realistic scenario is higher unit sales and lower profit per unit sold, but the overall profit will most likely balance out.)

It doesn't help that the financial analyst community is currently in a very pessimistic mood, and Apple stock just got hammered down to $120 range due to lower iPod unit sales (despite the fact that ASP went up 72%) and the conservative outlook for the next quarter. Still, with $3 per share in actual (as opposed to reported) earnings, Apple is on track to meet earnings of $6-8 per share per year. One would think this might justify a stock price of a lot more than current value in the long term...
post #35 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by macshark View Post

Probably the single most important fact that is being ignored by most investors is that Apple is significantly underreporting their earnings. Reported net profit is $1.56B or $1.76 per diluted share. Positive cash flow from operations is $2.76B or $3.11 per diluted share.

Basically, there seems to be about $1.2B difference between the reported net profit and the actual cash flow. What is the source of this difference? My guess is the deferred iPhone revenues result in about $500 in "deferred profit" for each iPhone sold. This profit will be recognized over the next 8 quarters instead of the current quarter. If Apple can keep selling iPhones at the rate of approximately 2.5 million units per quarter, we will see an incremental 125M profit each quarter for the next 7 quarters. This means there will be close to an additional $1B net profit from previous quarters in two years, assuming that the iPhone unit sales stay flat and Apple's profit margins for iPhone also stays flat. (The more realistic scenario is higher unit sales and lower profit per unit sold, but the overall profit will most likely balance out.)

It doesn't help that the financial analyst community is currently in a very pessimistic mood, but with $3 per share in actual earnings, Apple is on track to meet earnings of $6-8 per share for 4 consecutive quarters. One would think this might justify a stock price of a lot more than current value ($120) in the long term...

Excellent point! The financial analysts haven't even pointed that out.
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post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Excellent point! The financial analysts haven't even pointed that out.

Yet another factor to increase earnings going forward. At some point, iPods reach market saturation. But not only does apple have newer offerings for existing iPod owners, and not only are they higher priced (and more fully featured), they are also models that are ongoing revenue sources for apple. The number of iPods sold in a quarter can't keep increasing forever, but it doesn't have to.
post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

Yet another factor to increase earnings going forward. At some point, iPods reach market saturation. But not only does apple have newer offerings for existing iPod owners, and not only are they higher priced (and more fully featured), they are also models that are ongoing revenue sources for apple. The number of iPods sold in a quarter can't keep increasing forever, but it doesn't have to.

Good observation. Yes, at some point, iPod unit volume will reach saturation. I am sure Apple recognized this is coming, and they did exactly the right thing: Increase the average iPod selling price by offering more value (i.e. features & functionality). 72% in average selling price is an amazing accomplishment. Of course, the continuing price erosion in the flash memory market and high resolution small form factor LCD market helps Apple to a great extent...
post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by macshark View Post

It doesn't help that the financial analyst community is currently in a very pessimistic mood, and Apple stock just got hammered down to $120 range due to lower iPod unit sales (despite the fact that ASP went up 72%) and the conservative outlook for the next quarter. Still, with $3 per share in actual (as opposed to reported) earnings, Apple is on track to meet earnings of $6-8 per share per year. One would think this might justify a stock price of a lot more than current value in the long term...

The dip in the broader markets could account for most of the recent dip in Apple's price. Analysts will be looking at Apple's unit growth guidance over the next few quarters to see whether the recession -- we are in one after all -- will have much an impact on Mac, iPhone, iPod, etc., sales.
post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by macshark View Post

72% in average selling price is an amazing accomplishment. Of course, the continuing price erosion in the flash memory market and high resolution small form factor LCD market helps Apple to a great extent...

We already talked about that - the 72% isn't true, it is an editing mistake or something - the real number is 12%

I bought in at $132 just now (I previously sold at $149 before the run up to $200) based on the deferred profit insightfulness above. I would have been sitting pretty if I had not bought Cisco at $30 after selling Apple at $149.
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post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by macshark View Post

Probably the single most important fact that is being ignored by most investors is that Apple is significantly underreporting their earnings. Reported net profit is $1.56B or $1.76 per diluted share. Positive cash flow from operations is $2.76B or $3.11 per diluted share.

Basically, there seems to be about $1.2B difference between the reported net profit and the actual cash flow. What is the source of this difference?

That type of thing shows up from time to time. I think most of the difference is money from interest on their pile of cash. IIRC, it isn't counted as profits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by macshark View Post

It doesn't help that the financial analyst community is currently in a very pessimistic mood, and Apple stock just got hammered down to $120 range due to lower iPod unit sales (despite the fact that ASP went up 72%) and the conservative outlook for the next quarter.

Apple sold more iPods this quarter than any other quarter, the iPod unit sales aren't lower, they're still growing, just not as quickly as before.
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