Conveniently, just a day following the public disclosure that its co-founder and boss Steve Jobs was taking a sick leave for an unspecified period, Apple – which trades on Nasdaq under the AAPL symbol, on Tuesday has beatten Wall Street estimates with record-shattering results for its fiscal 2011 first quarter ended December 25, 2010, which translates to the calendar 2010 holiday quarter. 

Apple grew its holiday quarter revenue to $26.74 billion and posted a record net quarterly profit of $6 billion, or $6.43 per diluted share. Compared to Apple’s previous and year-ago quarters, revenue for the holiday quarter was up a whooping 31 percent sequentially and 71 percent annually, respectively. This is based on Apple’s fourth-quarter revenue of $20.34 billion and $15.68 billion from the year-ago quarter, respectively.

Similarly, Apple’s net quarterly profit in the year-ago quarter was $3.38 billion, or $3.67 per diluted share.

Apple says gross margin for the holiday quarter was 38.5 percent versus 40.9 percent a year ago while international sales accounted for a whooping 62 percent of the quarter’s revenue. They also amassed about $9.8 billion in cash flow from quarterly operations, ending the quarter with nearly $60 billion in cash.

The company quoted its boss Steve Jobs who promised in a written statement that Apple is "firing on all cylinders" and mentioned "exciting things in the pipeline" for 2011, one of them being the recently unveiled Verizon iPhone.

Apple collectively sold nearly 50 million iPhones, iPods, iPads and Macs during the quarter:

  • Macs – 4.13 million units were sold during the quarter, a 23 percent annual unit increase
  • iPhones – 16.24 million units shipped in the quarter, an 86 percent unit growth annually
  • iPods – 19.45 million iPods sold during the quarter, a seven percent unit decline on an annual basis
  • iPads – 7.33 million units were shipped during the quarter versus 4.19 million and 3.27 million iPads in the previous quarter and the one before it, respectively.

The company’s second fiscal quarter guidance calls for a revenue of $22 billion and the expected per-share earnings of about $4.90 versus Wall Street consensus of $20.9 billion of revenue and earnings of $4.48 per share. The company’s shares fell 2.25 percent to hit the $340.65 mark in after-hours trading.

Source: Apple