Apple (AAPL) Tops Estimates

Apple Store Sydney

Apple Inc. (AAPL) reported operational and financial performance for the fourth quarter of its 2014 fiscal year after markets closed. The iPhone maker beat analysts’ estimates prompting its stock to gain 1.35% in afterhours trading.

EPS was reported as $1.42, against $1.31 estimated by the Street. Revenues were higher than projections by $2.25 billion, at $42.1 billion for the September quarter, which ended Sept. 27. Apple had previously guided for a revenue range of $37B to $40B. Gross margin was 38% versus 37% y/y.

The company also said it sold 39.27 million iPhones in the quarter while analysts expected about 38 million. That’s a solid beat, and most probably attributable to record iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales. As for iPads & Macs, Apple reported sales of 12.316 million and 5.52 million units, respectively.

“Our fiscal 2014 was one for the record books, including the biggest iPhone launch ever with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus,” Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement accompanying the earnings report. He added that he was optimistic for the crucial holiday quarter coming up.

Apple provided the following guidance for its fiscal 2015 first quarter:

-Revenue between $63.5 billion and $66.5 billion
-Gross margin between 37.5 percent and 38.5 percent
-Operating expenses between $5.4 billion and $5.5 billion
-Other income/(expense) of $325 million
-Tax rate of 26.5 percent

The earnings were announced on the same day that Apple introduced via the iOS 8.1 update its newest product, Apple Pay, a digital payment system that allows users to make purchases on their iPhone 6 or 6 Plus via a fingerprint reader.

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