Apple Inc. Surprises Investors and Analysts with $45.6B Revenue Due to Strong iPhone Sales in Q2 2014

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Apple Inc. has beaten analysts' expectations and its own guidance by earning $45.6 billion in revenue for the first quarter of the calendar year and the second quarter of the fiscal year.

The company's stronger than expected iPhone sales boosted its March quarter revenues. In Apple's official earnings call on April 23, it revealed it had sold 43 million iPhones and 16 million iPads.

The company also reported it earned $10.2 billion in profits, surpassing Apple's internal quarter guidance and Wall Street expectations. Wall Street predicted Apple to report $43.5 billion in revenues for the March quarter.

Apple surpassed its iPhone sales record in the same quarter in 2013 by selling 6.3 million more iPhones. But iPad sales were lower by 2 million compared to the same quarter. Posting revenues of $45.6 billion and profits of $10.2 billion mean having earnings per share of $11.62. The figure is higher than the predicted $10.19 per share by the analysts.

Apple's profits continue to increase year-over-year with gross margins up by 39.3 percent compared to the previous quarter's 36.7 percent. In the same quarter in 2013, Apple's Q2 2014 gross margin is higher by 1.8 percent.

In Apple's earnings conference call with Wall Street, CEO Tim Cook said the company's high revenues for Q2 2014 were driven by strong iPhone sales. The iPhone enjoyed high sales in the markets outside the U.S. This means Apple's market share had increased in both emerging and developing markets.

Cook and CFO Luca Maestri hailed iPhone 4S as the sales driver in emerging markets for first-time iPhone customers. iPhone 5C, which was Apple's low-cost iPhone, was not cited to have a strong performance in these markets.

Although iPad sales for the March quarter was lower by 3 percent in a year-over-year comparison, Cook urged investors to look at the tablet market closely. He noted Apple has already sold 210 million iPad units.

The Apple CEO said the iPad has been the "fastest growing product" in the company's history, but this doesn't mean it has to be that way every quarter.

In China, Apple sales rose from $1 billion to $9.3 billion, which the company said was partially due to its iPhone deal with China Mobile, the world's largest mobile carrier. Aside from iPhone, Mac sales and iTunes revenues also doubled in China.

Apple Announces Stock Split And Buybacks

Since revealing its official earnings report, Apple's shares rose by 8 percent in after-hours trading at $564.99, the highest since December 2013. The stock closed as of 4 p.m. on the Nasdaq market at $524.75.

Along with the earnings call report, Apple's board of directors have declared a stock split, which means the company's shareholders will get six additional shares for every share of stock they own on June 2.

The board said split adjusted trading will start on June 9. According to Cook, the stock split will make Apple's shares more accessible to small investors. The company also announced a stock buyback program of more than $130 billion. 

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