Apple Reports Record Quarterly Revenue

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At a time when many giants of the technology sector are laying off workers, scaling back operations, and trying to weather the global economic downturn, media darling Apple just had to be different. The company has announced its financial results for its first fiscal quarter of 2009—and it was the company’s best quarter in history. Apple pulled in $10.17 billion during the quarter with a net profit of $1.61 billion, with operating margins of 34.7 percent. The quarter marks the first time Apple quarterly revenue has exceeded $10 billion.

“Even in these economically challenging times, we are incredibly pleased to report our best quarterly revenue and earnings in Apple history–surpassing $10 billion in quarterly revenue for the first time ever,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs, in a statement.

During the quarter, Apple sold over 2.5 million Macintosh computers, 4.36 million iPhones, and more than 22.7 iPod media players. Mac sales represent a year-on-year growth of 9 percent; iPods were up 3 percent year on year and iPhones were up 88 percent year-on-year—although that figure is slightly misleading because the iPhone 3G was only introduced in mid-2008, and its availability on a variety of carriers worldwide means its sales are far higher than the first-generation iPhone.

Apple is being conservative with future revenue forecasts, projecting next quarter will bring revenue of $7.6 to $8 billion.

The solid financial news comes at a potentially difficult time for Apple, as CEO Steve Jobs announced he will be taking a leave of absence until June 2009 to address his personal health—leaving many industry watchers to wonder what Apple’s plans might be for replacing Jobs if he is unable to return as CEO. Reports are also circulating the the Securities and Exchange Commission is launching a preliminary inquiry into Apple’s disclosure—or lack of disclosure—of information about Jobs’ health and how the information may have impacted investors.

Apple COO Tim Cook is heading up the company in Jobs’ absence; Cook also helmed Apple while Jobs recovered from pancreatic cancer in 2004.

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