Apple yesterday posted it's 2004 fourth quarter results.
They handily beat market expectations, with a profit of $106 million (26 cents per share) on $2.35 billion revenue, which is more than double the profits of the same quarter last year. They shipped 836000 Macs, which includes a huge increase in laptop sales. The iBook is up 74% over last year, and the PowerBook is up 21%. Overall unit sales showed only a 6% increase, due to constraints in G5 CPU supplies, which slowed Power Mac sales and left a 2 month gap where no iMacs were sold at all. Apple predicts that CPU supplies will improve in Q1 2005, but that the 2.5 GHz G5 will continue to be constrained. It seems clear we will not see a 3 GHz G5 any time soon.
The big news, however, is the iPod (and mini). Apple sold a whopping 2016000 iPods in a single quarter, up 500% from last year. That amount represents over a third of all iPods sold to date. Truly impressive. Apple also saw a correspondingly large increase in iTunes Music Store sales.
Apple forecasts revenue of close to $2.9 billion in the coming quarter, with earnings of approximately 40 cents per share. And it seems that Merrill-Lynch believes them. They have raised the target stock price of AAPL to US$49. Just last year, AAPL was under US$20.