Steve Cook

Apple reports record earnings, hits Wall Street with double whammy

January 25, 2010: 5:06 PM ET

Net income grew nearly 50% in Apple's most profitable quarter ever

It seems no matter how high Wall Street's expectations these days, Apple (AAPL) still manages to blow past them.

On Monday it hit the Street with a double whammy: not only did it announce record sales and earnings, but it changed the way it reports its iPhone sales revenue, replacing what used to be its GAAP (generally accepted accounting procedure) earnings with considerably higher non-GAAP numbers

The result was a quarterly earnings report that left the Street's estimates in the dust. Even among those analysts who had anticipated non-GAAP results, all but one seriously underestimated Apple's performance.

For the first fiscal quarter of 2010, Apple earned $3.67 per share on revenue of $15.68 billion. The consensus among the analysts we polled who offered non-GAAP numbers was for earnings of $3.49 on revenue of $14.69 billion.

"If you annualize our quarterly revenue, it's surprising that Apple is now a $50+ billion company," said Steve Jobs in a press release, adding a teaser for Wednesday's special event. "The new products we are planning to release this year are very strong, starting this week with a major new product that we're really excited about."

Trading in the Apple's stock was closed before the earnings report. Having regained much of the territory lost Friday, it had closed at $203.07, up 5.32 points (2.69%). The stock bounced up and down in after-hours trading as investors tried to make sense of the accounting change, but by 6:30 p.m. was trending up, adding another $1.6o to the closing price.

Sales of Macs and iPods were higher than most analysts expected; iPhone sales, despite 100% year over year growth, were slightly lower.

The biggest surprise was the company's gross margin: 40.9%, up from 37.9% and more than 5 points higher than the Street's consensus, albeit using the new accounting methods).

Still, Apple is simply the most profitable tech company in the business.

Here are the numbers:


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