24 April 2014Apple:
Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2014 second quarter ended March 29, 2014. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $45.6 billion and quarterly net profit of $10.2 billion, or $11.62 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $43.6 billion and net profit of $9.5 billion, or $10.09 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 39.3 percent compared to 37.5 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 66 percent of the quarter’s revenue.
Earnings were good. iPad performance is an ongoing concern, despite Cook’s assurances that it’s still on fire. There was some hints about some new stuff coming for iPad (i.e. iPad maxi), but it didn’t sound imminent.
The most interesting stuff this time around is what is traditionally the most boring stuff. The numbers. The investor crap. Apple is announcing a seven-to-one stock split, beginning in early June. The last time they did a stock split was two-for-one in February 2005.
At current prices, this would set Apple stock at about $80. The whole point of splits is to make it easier for smaller institutions to buy stock.1 The downside is this attracts speculative investors who are largely driven by the potential of turning short-run profits than long-term investments.
In fact, thinking about it, the company juiced their stock in pretty much every way possible this quarter. They announced the split, increased share buybacks by $30 billion, increased dividends to $3.29 per share and pledged to increase dividends on an annual basis. If that doesn’t improve Apple’s P/E ratio, I don’t know what will.
Don’t worry. Despite all of this additional capital expenditure, it still has $150 billion in cash. No big deal.
1 It will also allow $AAPL to enter some indexes it is currently too big to be part of.