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Apple Reports $1.23 Billion Profit for Q3 2009, Best Non-Holiday Quarter Ever

Apple today announced financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2009. Apple posted revenue of $8.34 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.23 billion, or $1.35 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $7.46 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.07 billion, or $1.19 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 36.3 percent, compared to 34.8 percent in the year-ago quarter, and international sales accounted for 44 percent of the quarter's revenue. The numbers represent the best non-holiday quarterly revenue and earnings in Apple history.

Using non-GAAP data, which eliminates subscription-based accounting for the iPhone and Apple TV, Apple would have had $9.74 billion revenue and $1.94 billion of net income. The subscription-based accounting used for Apple's official results parcels out income from iPhone and Apple TV sales over a 24-month period from the date of sale, whereas the non-GAAP results count the entire revenue from these sales in the quarter they were made.

Apple shipped 2.6 million Macintosh computers during the quarter, a unit increase of 4 percent over the year-ago quarter. The company also sold 10.2 million Pods during the quarter, representing 7 percent unit decline over the year-ago quarter. Quarterly iPhone unit sales reached 5.2 million, up 626 percent from the year-ago quarter.

"We're making our most innovative products ever and our customers are responding," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "We're thrilled to have sold over 5.2 million iPhones during the quarter and users have downloaded more than 1.5 billion applications from our App Store in its first year."

Apple's guidance for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 includes expected revenue of $8.7 billion to $8.9 billion and earnings per diluted share of $1.18 to $1.23.

Apple will provide live streaming of its Q3 2009 financial results conference call at 2:00 PM Pacific, and MacRumors will update this story with coverage of the conference call highlights.Conference Call Updates

- Customer response to the portable line has been favorable after the refresh
- Sold 10.2 million iPods. Reasons for decline: reduced channel inventory, and sell through decline
- 3 categories: traditional MP3, iPod Touch, iPhone
- For Traditional MP3: year-over-year decline which they predicted
- Expect Traditional MP3 sales to decline further over time
- Believe we have a great business that will grow over time
- 50% of recent traditional iPod purchases are buying their first iPod
- iPod Touch did extremely well in the quarter. Enhanced by App Store.
- over 70% of U.S. marketshare with iPod
- Over 5.2 million iPhones in the June quarter. Response to the new iPhone 3GS has been tremendous.
- Unable to make iPhone 3GSs to meet demand
- iPhone OS 3.0 release well received. App Store is key strategic differentiator.
- iTunes Store - strong sales of music, video and apps.
- Over 8 billion songs downloaded from iTunes Store
- Retail Stores: 492,000 Macs sold this quarter. 1/2 Macs sold to customers who never owned a Mac before. 258 stores total.
- First store in France during holiday quarter.
- Margins better than predicted. Component cost did increase but not to the level expected, spent less in warranty and manufacturing, efficiently ramped products this quarter.
- Cash: $31.1 billion at end of quarter. Investment priority is preservation of capital. Comfortable with investment portfolio
- $500m pre-payment to Toshiba for NAND Flash made.

Q&A

- Any plans on extending carrier relationships to other products beyond iPhone? Nothing to announce.
- Consumer market performed relatively better than the K12 performance this last quarter
- Pro business also affected more by the economy than the consumer business.
- Units grew faster than our revenue in part due to price cuts on portables.
- Some idea of how the $99 iPhone is doing? As we made the changes for the 3GS and price drop. We saw a significant acceleration of sales overall, but can't give out breakdown. The 3GS is currently constrained, so demand has been robust.
- Progress in large enterprise? iPhone doing well with small business and large businesses that allow purchase iPhones in individual use. Multiple corporations who have sold in excess of 25,000. Feel good about how we are doing. Most recent study has ranked iPhone highest in overall satisfaction for business customers.
- Factors looking into future from Apple: For many key components, costs are rising. We will continue to focus on state of the art products at prices our competitors can't match. And ever improving value to our customers.
- Given response on the price cuts, can you give us thoughts about the elasticity of the Mac market? Mac sales did accelerate after the announcement at WWDC, and we feel great about how they are selling. As we expected there are some number of people who are buying up. We're not thinking fundamentally different than it was before. Goal is to build the best computers in the world. If we can do that at lower prices, then we will but we won't put it on a product that doesn't live up to Apple's name.
- Any thoughts about Snow Leopard and $29 price point? Snow Leopard includes a lot of core improvements. Priced it very aggressively so that all of our users can upgrade to it. We're hoping they'll do that. As we announced at WWDC, we continue to expect to ship it later this quarter.
- Competitors with Media Stores, Can you talk about how to out-innovate competitors? I don't want to talk too much about what we are planning in the future, but we just shipped the next major version of iPhone OS and the App Store reaches over 45 million customers. App Store has been an unprecedented success with over 1.5 billion apps downloaded. The 65,000 apps compares favorably to the other stores. We have substantial advantages over the competitors. Feel extremely good about our competitive position.
- Do you still feel the lower price PC business model is still not attractive? Our goal is not to build the most computers, but to build the best. We don't see a way to build a great product for this $399, $499 - this kind of price point unit and as I've said before and I think this is playing out in several areas. Some customers get disappointed or disenchanted with these products.
- Is there a market for a larger portable device? Never want to discount anything in the future, but the point I'm making right now is that most people who buy a portable want a full featured notebook and we know from our research that our customers are very happy with us. Many of the netbooks being delivered are very slow and old software technology. Not a robust computing experience. Small displays and small keyboards. That kind of thing many people will not be happy with. We're only going to play in things where we can deliver something that we're very proud of.
- Question regarding "race to the bottom" of App Store pricing. Is this a concern? Any Steps? We're always looking for ways to categories apps differently and we have some ideas. We do it by type of apps and top selling apps, and we realize there is opportunity for further improvement and we are working on that. As for price, it's up to the developers to choose where to set the price. I would think as the installed base grows, it makes sense to have lower prices but that's totally up to the developer.