ollowing Monday's somber news that CEO Steve Jobs would be taking another medical leave of absence, Apple was able to soothe anxious investors by reporting "blowout" fourth-quarter earnings and a 78 percent year-to-year increase in profits. "We had a phenomenal holiday quarter with record Mac, iPhone and iPad sales," Jobs said in a statement. "We are firing on all cylinders and we've got some exciting things in the pipeline for this year, including iPhone 4 on Verizon." The "numbers weren't just better than analysts' estimates — they're beyond anything analysts would have dared to imagine," say Daniel Lyons and Brian Ries at Newsweek. A brief guide, by the numbers:
Apple's reported net income for the last 3 months of 2010
Apple's reported net income for the same period in 2009
Increase in fourth-quarter net income from 2009 to 2010
Apple's reported revenue for the last 3 months of 2010
Apple's reported revenue for the same period in 2009
Increase in fourth-quarter revenue from 2009 to 2010
Number of iPhones sold in the fourth quarter, an 86 percent increase over the corresponding period in 2009. "Sales of iPhones continued to defy expectations," says Miguel Heft in The New York Times. The company said it would have sold even more of the smartphones, had it been able to keep up with demand, a problem next month's release of the Verizon iPhone may exacerbate. "We are working around the clock," says COO Timothy D. Cook, who will run the company while Steve Jobs is on medical leave
Number of iPads sold in the quarter. Cook has dismissed potential threats from iPad competitors, calling Android tablets "bizarre" and saying they were of "no concern" to Apple
Closing price (an all-time high) of Apple stock on Friday, the last trading session before Steve Jobs announced his medical leave
Closing price of the stock yesterday, the first trading session after Jobs announced his leave
Target stock price set by Ticonderoga Securities in response to the fourth-quarter report, 61 percent higher than yesterday's closing price and 14 percent above the next highest projection of $483 from a Piper Jaffray analyst. "Despite Monday’s news regarding Steve Jobs’s medical leave of absence, we believe it will be difficult to keep Apple's stock from reaching new highs given the much stronger than expected quarter and outlook reported by the company last night," says Ticonderoga analyst Brian White
Number of iPads that Ticonderoga projects Apple will sell this fiscal year. "The iPod-iPhone-iPad revolution that Jobs unleashed over the past decade should ensure that Apple's revenue and earnings keep growing for at least the next two to three years, according to analysts," says the Associated Press. "The question is whether Apple can remain a step ahead and develop products that reshape technology, media and pop culture if Jobs isn't around to divine the next big thing"
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