Apple Reports Earnings - Analysis and Opinion

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By: switchtoamac at: 3:39 AM on April 20, 2006 | Comments (0)
On Wednesday April 19, 2006, Apple released financial results for its fiscal 2006 second quarter.  The quarter ranked second best in the company's history with a 41% rise in profits and a 34% rise in sales when compared to the same quarter last year.  Apple posted revenue of $4.36 billion US and quarterly profit of $410 million equating to $.47 on a per share basis.

Key Metrics from the Quarter:

  • Shipments of 1,112,000 Macintosh computers accounted for $1.572B in revenue, a 4 percent increase in units and a 5 percent increase in revenue when compared to the year-ago quarter
  • Shipments of 8,526,000 iPods, a 61% increase to the year-ago quarter
  • International sales accounted for 43% of the total revenue.

Notes and Executive Comments:

  • The company observed a slowdown of consumer Mac purchases during the quarter.  Apple reasoned that customers may be holding off purchases of the consumer level notebooks (iBook/MacBook) until they are transitioned to Intel processors.  Consumers may also be holding out until third-party vendors release Intel-native versions of their software, for example Adobe Systems
  • Apple indicated that the majority of education purchases are made during July, August, and September
  • Executives made references to "switchers" and how Boot Camp may facilitate people to make the switch.  Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer stated the following:

    "We did this because we were getting a lot of customer requests for this, as many Windows users were considering switching to the Mac. We think that it makes the Mac even more appealing to them."

  • Apple also acknowledged that sales of Macs to first time buyers is on the rise in their retail stores.  Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer stated the following about Apple's retail stores:

    "They are delivering strong growth to the company and our new to Mac percent in the quarter actually rose to about 50%."


Shipments of over 1 million Macs is a great metric considering that the entire line has not been transitioned to Intel based processors and the shipping delays following the announcement of the MacBook Pro.  Furthermore, Apple even mentioned that it's sales associates have not discouraged customers from waiting for Intel based systems. 

Take the 4 percent growth into context.  Of the seven Mac variants, only three have been transitioned to Intel based processors, the iMac, the Mac mini, and the MacBook Pro.  The entry level notebook, currently called the iBook has yet to be transitioned, the same holds true for the professional PowerMac desktop and the Xserve and Xserve RAID servers.  My belief is that if the iBook would have been transitioned to Intel during the quarter, the 4 percent growth would have been much higher.  I expect Apple to release a new consumer notebook to replace the iBook prior to the already referenced education buying season.  I expect an acceleration of Mac unit sales once that notebook is released.  Furthermore, I expect additional MacBook Pro sizes to be released prior to July which will add additional momentum to Mac unit sales.

Increased Macintosh sales are a key metric as the unit sale increase points to Apple's ongoing strengh.  The strong Mac sales lead me to believe that more consumers and businesses are making the switch and that the trend will gain momentum during 2006 and beyond as Apple completes the transition to Intel processors.  I expect Apple to add a significant number of users to it's base and to expand its market share.

My view is that Apple's compelling OS X operating system, quality hardware, innovation, and vision are driving the transition. The migration to OS X and Macs is just beginning.

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