Apple blows through estimates; Ships 2.29 million Macs; Outlook light by design?

Apple in its fiscal second quarter shipped 2.29 million Macs to top even the most optimistic Wall Street projections.

Apple in its fiscal second quarter shipped 2.29 million Macs to top even the most optimistic Wall Street projections.

Apple had been expected to ship 2.1 million Macs, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, one of Apple's biggest supporters on Wall Street.

Since Mac sales (statement, preview) were expected to carry the quarter it's no surprise that Apple blew through Wall Street estimates too. Apple reported net income of $1.05 billion, or $1.16 a share, in its second quarter on record revenue of $7.51 billion. According to Thomson Financial, Apple was expected to report second quarter earnings of $1.07 a share on sales of $6.96 billion.

Also see: Jason O'Grady's live blog of Apple's conference call.

In Apple's second quarter a year ago, the company reported net income of $770 million, or 87 cents a share, on revenue of $5.26 billion. You could complain about gross margins falling to 32.9 percent from 35.1 percent a year ago, but that's nit-picky.

As expected, Mac sales got most of the focus this quarter and Apple didn't disappoint with unit growth up 51 percent from a year ago. As for the iPhone, Apple sold 1.7 million units, which met Wall Street targets. iPod units topped expectations at 10.6 million compared to a consensus guesstimate of 10 million.

Meanwhile, Apple as expected lowballed Wall Street estimates for the fiscal third quarter. The company projected earnings of $1 a share on revenue of $7.2 billion. For the June quarter, Apple was expected to report earnings of $1.10 a share on sales of $7.16 billion.

Among the notable conference call highlights:

  • CFO Peter Oppenheimer said Apple had 3 to 4 weeks of inventory.
  • About a third of the Fortune 500 has signed up for Apple's beta enterprise program with 400 higher education institutions. "And more are being added each week," said Oppenheimer.
  • Apple had 208 stores with average revenue of $7.1 million, up 48 percent from a year ago.
  • "We remain very confident about our business," said Oppenheimer.
  • Tim Cook, chief operating officer, said that component costs were at historically low levels. Apple expects prices to rise.
  • Cook added that Apple is confident that the company will ship 10 million iPhones by the end of the year. He noted that the end of the quarter did experience some out-of-stock issues. Apple said iPhone inventory is low at its retail stores as people are buying the devices to unlock them. Cook couldn't quantify more on iPhone unlocking.

Apple ended the quarter with $19.4 billion in cash.

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Among other odds and ends:

  • Total deferred Apple iPhone and Apple TV revenue clocked in at $3.82 billion at the end of the fiscal second quarter, up from $3.28 billion at the end of 2007.
  • Portable revenue was $2.14 billion in the second quarter, up from $1.35 billion a year ago. Desktop revenue was $1.35 billion, up from $914 million a year ago, but off from the first quarter.
  • Other music related products and services revenue (iTunes) had revenue of $881 million, up from $808 million in the first quarter.
  • Retail revenue in the second quarter was $1.45 billion, up from $834 million a year ago.