The most profitable company in the world, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), reported in January third fiscal quarter 2015 earnings of roughly $18 billion, the highest single quarter of profits in corporate history. Record profits from services and increasingly strong sales of the iPhone and Mac continued to drive up revenue, according to the company. When Apple reports fiscal fourth-quarter and full-year results after markets close on Tuesday, analysts are expecting earnings per share of $1.88 on revenues of $51.11 billion for the quarter and full-year earnings per share of $9.13 on revenues of $233.28 billion.
Apple is among the most rapidly growing large multinational companies in the world due to a string of product successes that began over a decade ago and include the iPod, iPhone and iPad. Apple has married these with huge content operations such as iTunes and the App Store. Apple is the largest company in the world based on its market cap of about $672 billion. Last year, Apple reported revenue of $182.7 billion and earnings of nearly $40 billion. Last quarter alone, Apple sold 47.5 million iPhones, 10.9 million iPads, and 4.8 million Macs.
Company management has made it clear that for Apple to grow it has to have impressive sales in China, the largest wireless market in the world. The company included China in the launch last month of its iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, and that boosted first weekend sales to a total of 13 million for the new phones.
A report at Digitimes noted that the company opened another brick-and-mortar store in China this weekend, and noted that Apple’s online sales are weakening:
Since China consumers’ use of Apple’s online shopping website is weaker than expected plus China’s e-commerce platforms mostly have no interest in promoting Apple’s products due to its weak profitability, Apple has been aggressively opening stores in China in order to maintain its sales in the country.
Apple’s stock got a nice lift from earnings result announced last week from Google, Amazon and Microsoft. Shares closed up 3.1% on Friday at $119.08 in a 52-week range of $92.00 to $134.54.
See our full list of the world’s most profitable companies. To identify the most profitable companies in the world, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the highest earnings from continued operations — a measure of net income — for public companies around the world with revenue of at least $20 billion. All company financial data was obtained using the Capital IQ Screening tool, accessed by researcher Brian Zajac on October 13, 2015, and are as of the most recent fiscal year for each company.
Financial statements of banks cannot be compared fairly to statements of other types of companies, so banks, which would have made up seven of the 10 most profitable companies in the world, were excluded from our analysis.