Apple Kills Earnings Critics… Almost $100 Billion in Cash & Liquidity (AAPL)

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was halted right before earnings, but the numbers appear to be a total blowout compared to estimates.  The stock is out with its first quarterly report of fiscal 2012: earnings were $13.87 EPS and $46.3 billion in sales.  Thomson Reuters had estimates all the way down at $10.08 EPS on $38.85 billion in revenues, signaling an expectation for 56% earnings growth and 45% sales growth to the consensus estimates.

The gross margin was 44.7% compared to 38.5% a year earlier. International sales accounted for 58% of the quarter’s revenue.
Apple’s guidance is generally taken as sand-bagged guidance so it can over-deliver, but the guidance is much better this time.  The company now sees earnings of $8.50 EPS and $32.5 billion in sales.  Thomson Reuters had estimates of $8.03 EPS on $32.04 billion in sales, indicating what would be 25% earnings growth and almost 30% sales growth to the consensus estimates.

The highlights:

  • sold 37.04 million iPhones in the quarter, up 128%
  • sold 15.43 million iPads in the quarter, up 111%
  • sold 5.2 million Macs in the quarter, up 26%
  • sold 15.4 million iPods, a decline of 21% because everyone already has one

If you include the long-term marketable securities of $67.44 billion with the $10.3 billion in cash and the $19.85 billion in short-term securities, Apple has more than $97 billion in cash and total liquidity on hand. 

Shares closed down 1.6% at $420.41 and the 52-week range is $310.50 to $431.37.  The stock has also rallied from alow of about $365 around the end of November for a 16% gain since that time.

Before the effects of the downgrades and upgrades and before seeing any new changes, the current consensus price target objective is roughly $515.00.  If Apple only meets its $35.39 consensus earnings estimate for Fiscal 2012 (September-end) then this stock trades just under 12-times expected earnings before considering the bump from today’s earnings report.

UPDATE: Apple shares resumed at 4:50 PM EST and at 5:00 PM EST the stock is up almost 8% around $454.00 in very active trading.