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Apple Inc. (AAPL): Reports of Its Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may have just sent the bears home to hibernate, and it seems that those who wanted CEO Tim Cook’s head might just instead skip to dessert and have a little crow. But don’t worry – it tastes like chicken.

In the wake of severely disappointing news cycles involving Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) the last seven months, Tuesday’s quarterly earnings report was seen with great anticipation as perhaps the most important for the company in terms of perception as a leading tech company. There was some talk that Apple was losing its growth spurt and was just going to become a solid if not spectacular just-another-tech company. There were worries that the iPhone was losing luster and that the company just might miss revenue numbers and actually have a lower number than the year-ago quarter for the first time since 2003.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

When the chips came down, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stood tall at the end of the day, reporting top- and bottom-line numbers that were better than the analyst consensus. My colleague, Jake Mann, reported alongside the release, which stated that Apple reported quarterly revenue of $43.6 billion, which beat Wall Street estimates by $1.6 billion. The earnings-per-share number came in at $10.09, which beat the consensus by 9 cents. Immediately after the release, post-market Apple stock shot up 5 percent on the news. Cook credited the revenue beat on “stong iPad and iTunes sales.” We wrote about iTunes dominance in the market earlier today.

And in the flagship devices, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) once again defied expectations, where many thought that iPhone demand was softened. The company reported that it had sold 37.4 million iPhones during the quarter, which beat estimates by at least 500,000. The company reported a “95-percent loyalty rate” among iPhone customers, and it reported that the iPhone had taken over the No. 1 spot in the Japan market, the first non-Japanese company to lead that valuable market  in more than a year.

The other key product for Apple is the iPad, and that sales number came in at 19.5 million, about 1 million more than expected. Macintosh computers were basically flat, and iPods came in at least 600,000 below estimates at 5.6 million units.

In addition, the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) cash chest grew by about $9 billion to $145 billion, which Cook referred to during the earnings call, making a big double-barrel announcement (see that story here).

Guidance for the next quarter, however, was more tepid than analysts predicted, with revenue slated to be between $335. and $35.5 billion and gross margins were slated to come in at 36-37 percent.

What are your thoughts about this earnings report by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)? Are you surprised, and what do you see for the company in the near future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.

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