Yesterday’s announcement of Apple’s fourth quarter result for 2011 was astounding to say the least. Growth from a year-ago quarter was 118%. Sales for the quarter at $46.3 Billion yielded profit of $13.1B. Wow – that profit is more than 3 times what General Electric earned in its most recent quarter. These figures blew analysts’ projections. Apple’s cash hoard is $97.6B, more than the market capitalizations of all but 52 publicly traded companies.
Today Apple’s shares are up around $450, making its market capitalization surpass Exxon Mobile. So Apple is the most valued corporation in the US and the world. This is significant as the founder and visionary leader of Apple Steve Jobs died last October. The momentum of sales continued even stronger than before. The new iPhone 4S sold briskly contributing to the total sales of 37M iPhones. Even the iPad sold 15.4 Million units. The Amazon Kindle Fire made no dent to iPad as many pundits had speculated. Now the onus is on Apple to continue keeping up with sky-high expectations.
But what a remarkable journey! Tim Cook said yesterday that they could have sold even more if they had enough supplies. He also said new products are in the pipeline later this year including new releases of iPhone and iPad. The Apple TV box for wifi link to the TV has also sold better than expected.
Just see what is happening to RIM, makers of Blackberry with their rapid market erosion forcing the change of CEO. Also Yahoo reported decline in sales and profit as the new CEO Scott Thompson takes over and Jerry Yang finally steps down. These former market leaders can look with envy at Apple’s tremendous success – a testament to excellent product design and world-class execution by its leadership team.
Apple seems safe for a while executing its product roadmap and plans. One never knows what will happen five years from now. But they have reasons to celebrate now.