Apple Q2 09 financials - Best non-holiday quarter, but signs indicate that recession is starting to bite

Yesterday Apple posted the Q2 09 financials and Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer declared it "the best non-holiday quarter revenue and earnings in our history." But if you look closely at the numbers you'll notice that even the Cupertino giant isn't immune to the effects of the global recession.

Yesterday Apple posted the Q2 09 financials and Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer declared it "the best non-holiday quarter revenue and earnings in our history." But if you look closely at the numbers you'll notice that even the Cupertino giant isn't immune to the effects of the global recession.

The numbers were good:

  • Revenues of $8.16 billion
  • Net quarterly profits of $1.21 billion
  • Gross margins of 36.4%, up from 32.9% compared to the year-ago quarter
  • International sales accounted for 46 percent of the quarter’s revenue
  • 2.22 million Macs sold, down 3% compared to the year-ago quarter
  • 11.01 million iPods, up 3% compared to the year-ago quarter
  • 3.79 million iPhones sold, up 123% compared to the year-ago quarter
  • Almost $29 billion in cash and marketable securities on our balance sheet

But it's not all plain sailing for Apple. First, that 3% drop in Mac sales compared to the year-ago quarter should be worrying executives because it doesn't tell the whole story. To see the bigger picture you need to compare Q2 09 to the previous three quarters:

  • Q3 08 Mac sales 2,496,000, so Q2 09 sales down 11%
  • Q4 08 Mac sales 2,611,000, so Q2 09 sales down 15%
  • Q1 09 (Holiday quarter) Mac sales 2,524,000, so Q2 09 sales down 12%

We can see a similar pattern with iPhone sales.

  • Q4 08 iPhone sales 6,892,000, so Q2 09 sales down 45%
  • Q1 09 (Holiday quarter) iPhone sales 4,363,000, so Q2 09 sales down 13%

And when it comes to iPod sales, excluding holiday quarters, these seem to have flat-lines since Q2 07.

The bottom line is that while Apple is able to tweak prices and margins to continue to deliver strong results, when you look at the sales numbers it's clear that consumer confidence has hit sales quite hard over the past few months.