Apple Inc. Posts Record Q3 FY2014 Earnings with Highest EPS Growth Rate; Tim Cook Excited About New Products

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The Apple logo is pictured at a retail store in the Marina neighborhood in San Francisco, California
IN PHOTO: The Apple logo is pictured at a retail store in the Marina neighborhood in San Francisco, California April 23, 2014. REUTERS

Apple Inc has released its official Q3 earnings report after the end of market trading on July 22. The company posted profits of $7.7 billion from a $37.4 billion in revenues.

Apple's prospects of growth prospects continues to burn bright the upcoming release of the iPhone 6 looms with a rumoured bigger screen expected to attract consumers who have been waiting for a bigger-sized iPhone.

Apple's earnings once again went beyond analysts' expectations as the tech giant sold 35.2 million iPhones in the third quarter of the fiscal year. The latest iPhone sales figures had increased by 13 per cent compared to the same quarter of 2013 despite many consumers holding off on buying new iPhones until the release of the iPhone 6.

In an interview, Apple's Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said the company "did a really great job" based on its execution. He hinted that Apple has "some things in the pipeline" to get people excited.

Apple earned $7.7 billion in profit by the end of Q3 FY2014 or $1.28 per share. At the same time in 2013, the company had posted earnings of $6.9 billion or $1.07 per share. Analysts had predicted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.23 but the latest figures had beaten analysts' expectations.

Compared to data from 2013, Apple's revenues climbed to $37.4 billion in Q3. However, the figure was $600 million below analysts' predictions.

Maestri revealed Q3 iPhone sales were boosted by the strong performance of the device in Brazil, Russia, India and China.

According to Fortune, its consensus with analysts was for Apple to release an earnings report of $38.1 billion in revenue with gross margins of 38 per cent. When Apple finally revealed its Q3 earnings, the actual gross margin was higher at 39.4 per cent. Despite failing to live up to analyst expectations in revenue, the company still managed to beat forecasts with a higher EPS.

According to Apple's own guidance based from the previous quarter earnings, the iPhone maker predicted earnings to be between $36 and 38 billion in revenue with a gross margin pegged at either 37 or 38 per cent.

Apple's guidance was more accurate in 2013 with the upper range of its forecast close to the actual figures. In the company's Q3 earnings report, both Apple and the analysts anticipated a good quarter for the company especially with a high gross margin.

Tim Cook "excited" about new product release

However, some analysts believe Apple's revenues should be higher than the actual figures presented. Apple may have been banking on the iPhone 5C to take care of the gross margin but the cheaper iPhone model did not sell as much units as expected.

Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook wrote in the earnings release that the company's record June quarter was due to the strong sales performance of the iPhone, Mac and continuous growth of the iOS ecosystem. Cook said the recent quarter has brought the company its "highest EPS growth rate in seven quarters."

Cook said Apple "can't wait to introduce" its new products and services. He expressed his excitement about the upcoming release of the iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite.

For the next quarter, Apple predicts revenues between $37 and $40 billion with a gross margin between 37 and 38 per cent. 

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