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Apple posts record $8.2b profit on $36b in revenue for Q4 2012, still misses Wall Street expectations

Apple posts record $8.2b profit on $36b in revenue for Q4 2012, still misses Wall Street expectations


26.9 million iPhones and 14 million iPads is a lot of money, but not enough for the Street

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apple ipad mini event locations
apple ipad mini event locations

Apple's just released its Q4 2012 earnings report, posting an $8.2b profit on $36 billion in revenue, breaking its record Q4 2011 of $6.62b profit on $28.27b in revenue. The gains were almost entirely driven by a 58 percent increase in iPhone sales with 26.9m units sold, up from 17m last year, and a 26 percent increase in iPad sales with 14m sold, up from 11m last year. Of particular note, the iPhone 5 isn't a huge part of these numbers — it was only on sale for nine days in Q4. Later, during a Q&A, Tim Cook discussed the company's strategy with the upcoming iPad mini, claiming that the company is selling the device at a lower profit margin than it's other products. He also gave sharp criticism of Apple's competition in the tablet market, calling Microsoft's Surface a "confusing product" and reiterating the company's refusal to produce a 7-inch device.

Apple's other product lines merely held their own: Mac sales were relatively flat, up just one percent to 4.9m, and the iPod line continued its standard decline, down 19 percent to 5.3m. The numbers all compare favorably to last quarter, when Apple posted an $8.8b profit on $35b in revenue, selling 26m iPhones, 17m iPads, 4m Macs, and 6.8m iPods. The company touted a 3.2 million unit sales growth of the Apple TV, accounting for an "over 100 percent increase over last year."

International sales made up 60 percent of Apple's revenue, following several years of growth. Apple's board also declared a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share, following a trend started just last quarter after years of investor concerns.

Although Apple broke its own Q4 records, reaction on Wall Street has been mixed to negative so far, as Apple beat analysts' revenue forecasts but missed predicted profit numbers, largely on "disappointing" iPad sales. The stock dropped four percent in after-hours trading after the results were announced, according to Reuters, but has slowly climbed back up since.

To recap the events, visit our live blog of Apple's earnings call with CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer from earlier today, and listen to audio clips below.

Tim Cook on the Apple TV:

Tim Cook on Microsoft Surface:

Tim Cook on 7-inch tablets: