Phrases like “smashed Wall Street expectations.” “record sales” and “largest profit in corporate history” were liberally used.
The company sold 74.5 million iPhones in its fiscal first quarter ended December 27, while many analysts had expected fewer than 70 million. Revenues rose to $74.6 billion from $57.6 billion a year earlier.
S&P analyst Howard Silverblatt claimed that Apple’s $18 billion profit was the biggest ever reported by a public company, worldwide and Apple’s cash pile is now $178 billion, enough to buy IBM.
The Tame Apple Press were even more excited when Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said the Cupertino, California-based company would release the Apple Watch, in April, nearly two years behind the market.
The press rushed to find analysts who said that Apple was jolly brilliant while Microsoft and IBM had disappointing results.
However, as you might expect there was an element of selective reporting. For example, analysts expected Apple to sell more iPhones in China than the US – it did not. Although sales in China were “up 70 percent on last year” sales behind the bamboo curtain were not that great last year. The Tame Apple Press praised the company’s partnership with China Mobile for being responsible for the increase in sales, ignoring the fact they predicted earlier that China sales would be blistering.
Unable to blame Apple, Reuters blamed the Chinese economic slow down for the poor Chinese outing and instead claimed that Apple was well positioned to do better next year.
Apple reported net profit of $18.02 billion compared with $13.07 billion a year earlier. Analysts had expected revenue of $67.69 billion.
Cooler heads pointed out that Apple would face problems next year because of the stronger dollar and predicted that things would not be as good. Apple predicted revenue of $52 billion to $55 billion in its fiscal second quarter, compared with Wall Street’s average target of $53.79 billion.
Meanwhile Cook was touting new shiny things to encourage more positive talk about the outfit. Not only did he promise to release the iWatch which is now so out of date the specs were originally designed on the great pyramid, he talked about Apple’s new mobile payment service, Apple Pay which is, so far, to make much headway.
The largest profit in corporate history was Fannie Mae which made $84 billion in 2013.