There's Rich, There's Stupid Rich, and Then There's Apple

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The numbers are in. Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) booked $13.87 a share in profits on $46.33 billion in revenue. Wall Street was expecting $10.14 a share of profit on $39.16 billion in revenue, according to Data provided by S&P Capital IQ.

Somewhere, the late Steve Jobs is smiling.

For the most part, Fools and analysts were expecting this sort of performance because we've seen it before. Last quarter's minor miss is a rounding error when observed through the lens of history. Wall Street is more often than not punked when it comes to estimating Apple's results.

And not just on the top and bottom lines. Analysts tend to vary widely in their estimates of iPhones, iPads, and Macs sold. Here's how they fared in Apple's fiscal first quarter:

Product

Actual

Projected

Last Year

Y-o-Y Growth

iPhones sold 37.04 million 30.25 million 16.235 million 128.1%
iPads sold 15.43 million 13.29 million 7.331 million 110.5%
Macs sold 5.2 million 5.09 million 4.134 million 25.8%

Sources: Fortune magazine, SEC filings, Apple press release.

Interestingly, Apple beat a Morgan Stanley estimate from December that projected as many as 36 million iPhones sold. And that's in a quarter in which Samsung made waves for introducing a genuinely good Android alternative in the Galaxy Nexus. Eat that, Google(Nasdaq: GOOG).

Yet as good as the product results were, 97 is the number Apple investors should focus on. According to its balance sheet, the Mac maker ended the first quarter with:

  • $10.3 billion in cash.
  • $19.8 billion in short-term securities.
  • $67.4 billion in long-term securities.

That's $97 billion in mostly liquid tangible assets and no debt, which means Apple's bank account is about to become a $100 billion company. And you thought only Donald Trump was stupid rich.

Finally, will someone please pass these results to new Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) chief executive Thorsten Heins? Drastic changes are needed, sir. The data above reveals in black and white what the rest of us have long known: the iPhone is eating the BlackBerry's lunch. Do something about it or sell RIM to someone who can.

Apple's undoubtedly an absolute all-star, but many investors don't realise there are other companies benefiting from the very same drivers that sent Apple's stock into the stratosphere. Fortunately, the Fool recently compiled a research report detailing an Australian company profiting from the telecommunications wave. Request our free report, The Motley Fool's Top Stock For 2012Click here, whilst it's still free and available.

This article was originally written by Tim Beyers and published at fool.com

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