Apple Blows Out Q4; $546M Profit, 1.61M Macs, 8.7M iPods [UPDATE]

Apple Computer reported a blowout fiscal Q4 to close out a record year for the company. The company turned in sales of US$4.84 Billion in revenue, and a profit of $546 million, compared to $430 million in Q4 2005, or $.62 per share, as compared to $.50 per share in the year-ago quarter.

The company sold some 8.729 million iPods, a 35% increase over last yearis 6.451 million iPods sold. Appleis Macintosh business also saw a big increase, with the company selling some 1.61 million Macs, a new record quarter, and 30% more than 2005is 1.236 million Macs sold.

"This strong quarter caps an extraordinary year for Apple. Selling more than 39 million iPods and 5.3 million Macs while performing an incredibly complex architecture transition is something we are all very proud of," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement. "Looking forward, 2007 is likely to be one of the most exciting new product years in Appleis history."

Promising new products in a financially-oriented press release is somewhat uncommon for Apple.

All of these results were far above consensus estimates from Wall Street, which ranged in the 1.5 million Mac range, and 8.2 million to 8.5 million iPods. Consensus estimates for revenue were in the $4.55-$4.65 billion range, with per share estimates running in the $.50 per share range.

Apple emphasized in its announcement that these results are officially preliminary results, as the company works to resolve option irregularities that prevent the company from officially reporting results. The company notes, "these preliminary results may be subject to significant adjustment as a result of a likely restatement of historical results."

Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer noted in a conference call with analysts that Apple ended the year having sold 5.3 million Macs and more than 39 million iPods, both representing record years. The company also reported a record year of $19.3 billion in revenue, with 39% year-over-year growth. He also noted that Apple has added $11 billion in top line growth over the last two years.

"We are pleased to have finished the year with over $10 billion in cash and to have increased annual revenue by $11 billion in the last two years," said Peter Oppenheimer in a statement. "Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2007, we expect revenue of $6.0 to $6.2 billion and earnings per diluted share of $.70 to $.73."

That guidance for the December quarter is running slightly below analyst forecasts, which have been in the $6.3 billion range.

Immediately after the results were released, AAPL began trading higher in the after-hours market. As of this writing, the stock is at 78.82, a gain of 4.29 (+5.76%).

*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a small share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.  

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