Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)'s Wednesday earnings report was one of the most anticipated for the company in recent memory. The quarter included several key product launches and a push into China that may significantly define the immediate future for Apple. The release of worse-than-expected results led to a 10% drop in after-hours trading, but it is important to keep in mind how strong these numbers are relative to other options, not just relative to what analysts had "hoped" for (by which I mean "predicted"). To that end, the following five numbers help to really put the announcement in perspective and should give you some insight by which to analyze the stock.
iPhone 5 sales This may be the single most important number included in the release -- even more important than the earnings per share. Projections had ranged from 30 million units to as high as 60 million in a few cases, with 50 million being considered the average expectation. With a reported 47.8 million iPhone sales for the quarter, most were disappointed in the result, which ignores the fact that this represents a 29% increase from a year ago. It is important to note that devices that run Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)'s Android turn over regularly, in part because they are made by so many different manufacturers. As the numbers shake out over the next few days, the possibility of a faster product cycle is likely to be addressed. I would also think that current iPhone 5 sales may be driving factor as the company considers the possibility of a cheaper iPhone.
iPad sales With the release of the smaller iPad Mini, many Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) watchers, myself included, believed that the company was making an important, and potentially dangerous, course correction from market leader to reactionary. The Google Nexus 7, for example, poses a real threat to the iPad Mini, and with a significant price differential, there is some cause for concern over time. The most recent report from IDC shows that while Android tablets do not have the same market share as iOS -- 53.8% versus 42.7% -- Android's market share is being encroached upon by competitors slower than iOS. Apple reported iPad sales of 22.9 million relative to 15.4 million a year ago . This sales figure is important in sending a message to the market that consumers are willing to pay up for Apple products. You should watch this figure, but also where sales go from here; if the initial "wow" factor fades, Google may up the stakes in this arena. In the post-release conference call, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer pointed out that sales figured represented "an average increase of 60% per week, ahead of IDC's latest published estimate of 56% growth for the tablet market."