It’s hard to beat Wall Street predictions repeatedly, but Apple continues to be underestimated by experts despite showing no signs of letting up, slowing down, or even considering stopping. They sold nearly 3 million more iPhones than expected and their quarterly EPS beat forecasts by a whopping 33%.
Most were impressed by beating forecasts by 20% each of the last 2 quarters.
Prospects of a new iPhone, safe inventory levels for iPad 2s, and new Mac computers continue to fuel the most valuable technology company in the world. As a result, shares shot up to $405 after a short after-hours trading suspension.
$3.5 billion over average estimates
When you consider that the total revenue for Yahoo! in the quarter was $1.23 billion, it’s hard to believe that Apple was able to beat the average analyst estimate of $24.99 billion by more than $3.5 billion, finishing the quarter with $28.57 billion. That’s an 82% rise.
Much of the credit is being given to improved sales overseas, particularly in Asia. 62% of the company’s revenue this quarter came from international sales.
With over a billion people in China, it has become a focus point for Apple according to Chief Executive Tim Cook. “I firmly believe that we are just scratching the surface right now. I think there is an incredible opportunity for Apple there.”
It will take a major catastrophe either in tech or the real world for anything to slow Apple down. Their reputation is impeccable. The leadership structure and the people behind it are models coveted by other firms. They have the cash to back up any move they make and the wisdom to continue to make the right moves. Even without new technologies, they can continue to ride the wave of their current product lineups for a long time before fatigue strikes.
In short, the company is finally in a position to lose Steve Jobs. It’s been happening in bits and pieces over the last few years and with health concerns forever in focus, there hasn’t been a better time for Jobs to step away completely. The best way to make it happen is for him to announce that he had officially stepped away months before. Very much like a father running behind a toddler riding for the first time without training wheels, Jobs should let the day to day and even the strategic aspects of his beloved company run on their own for a while, then announce it to the world with a vote of confidence.
If investors and consumers are worried about an Apple without Jobs, they need to know that it was able to succeed without him, even if we didn’t know he didn’t still have his hand on the seat as the company peddled away.