CUPERTINO, California—October 21, 2008—Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2008 fourth quarter ended September 27, 2008. The Company posted revenue of $7.9 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.14 billion, or $1.26 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $6.22 billion and net quarterly profit of $904 million, or $1.01 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 34.7 percent, up from 33.6 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 41 percent of the quarter’s revenue.
In accordance with the subscription accounting treatment required by GAAP, the Company recognizes revenue and cost of goods sold for iPhone™ and Apple TV® over their economic lives. Adjusting GAAP sales and product costs to eliminate the impact of subscription accounting, the corresponding non-GAAP measures* for the quarter are $11.68 billion of “Adjusted Sales” and $2.44 billion of “Adjusted Net Income.”
Apple shipped 2,611,000 Macintosh® computers during the quarter, representing 21 percent unit growth and 17 percent revenue growth over the year-ago quarter. The Company sold 11,052,000 iPods during the quarter, representing eight percent unit growth and three percent revenue growth over the year-ago quarter. Quarterly iPhone units sold were 6,892,000 compared to 1,119,000 in the year-ago-quarter.
“Apple just reported one of the best quarters in its history, with a spectacular performance by the iPhone—we sold more phones than RIM,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We don’t yet know how this economic downturn will affect Apple. But we’re armed with the strongest product line in our history, the most talented employees and the best customers in our industry. And $25 billion of cash safely in the bank with zero debt.”
“We’re very pleased to have grown revenue 35 percent and to have generated $9.1 billion in cash in fiscal 2008,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead, visibility is low and forecasting is challenging, and as a result we are going to be prudent in predicting the December quarter. We are providing a wide range for our guidance, targeting revenue of $9.0 to $10.0 billion and earnings per diluted share between $1.06 and $1.35.”
*Non-GAAP Financial Measures
During fiscal 2007, the Company began selling the iPhone and Apple TV. Because the Company may provide unspecified features and additional software products to iPhone and Apple TV customers in the future free of charge, in accordance with GAAP the Company recognizes revenue and cost of goods sold for these products on a straight-line basis over their economic lives, with any loss recognized at the time of sale. Currently, the economic lives of these products are estimated to be 24 months. This accounting treatment, referred to as subscription accounting, results in the deferral of almost all of the revenue and cost of goods during the quarter in which the products are sold to the customer. Other costs related to these products, including costs for engineering, sales, marketing and warranty, are expensed as incurred. Further, the costs to develop any future unspecified features and additional software products that may eventually be provided to customers also are expensed as incurred. In contrast, the Company generally recognizes revenue and cost of goods sold for its other products, such as Macs and iPods, at the time of sale, as the Company does not provide future unspecified features or additional software products to those customers free of charge.
In July 2008, the Company began selling iPhone 3G, the second-generation iPhone, and significantly expanded distribution by establishing carrier relationships in over 70 countries. Unit sales of iPhone 3G have been significantly greater than sales of the first-generation iPhone. During the first quarter of iPhone 3G availability ended September 27, 2008, 6.9 million units were sold, exceeding the 6.1 million first-generation iPhone units sold in the prior five quarters combined. As a result of this growth in unit sales, the amount of iPhone revenue and product cost that the Company deferred for recognition in future periods under subscription accounting increased materially in the quarter ended September 27, 2008.
While the GAAP results provide significant insight into the Company’s operations and financial position, management supplements its analysis of the business using financial measures that look at the total sales, related product costs and resulting income for iPhones and Apple TVs sold to customers during the period. The presentation at the end of this press release includes the following non-GAAP measures: “Adjusted Sales,” “Adjusted Cost of Sales,” “Adjusted Gross Margin,” “Adjusted Operating Margin,” “Adjusted Income before Provision for Income Taxes,” “Adjusted Provision for Income Taxes,” “Adjusted Net Income” and “Adjusted Diluted Earnings per Share.” These financial measures are not consistent with GAAP because they do not reflect the deferral of revenue and product costs for recognition in later periods. The Company uses these financial measures, along with other measures discussed below, to provide additional insight into current operating and business trends not readily apparent from the GAAP results.
Management uses Adjusted Sales to evaluate the Company’s growth rate, revenue mix and performance relative to competitors. Given the significant increase in iPhone unit sales during the quarter ended September 27, 2008, Adjusted Sales provides a meaningful measurement of the Company’s growth by reflecting amounts generally due to Apple at the time of sale related to products sold within the period. Further, eliminating the effects of deferred revenue (current sales deferred to future periods and prior sales being recognized currently) provides more transparency into the Company’s underlying sales trends. Management uses the non-GAAP measures of “Adjusted Cost of Sales,” “Adjusted Gross Margin” and “Adjusted Operating Margin” to measure the Company’s operating performance based on current period iPhone and Apple TV sales and to facilitate on-going operating decisions. Additionally, because the Company recognizes engineering, sales, and marketing expenses as incurred, including expenses related to iPhone and Apple TV, management uses Adjusted Sales to evaluate returns on those costs, to manage year-over-year operating expense growth, and to budget future expenses. Furthermore, because they are considered meaningful indicators of current business performance, the non-GAAP measures “Adjusted Sales” and “Adjusted Operating Margin” are metrics that will factor into the determination of management compensation beginning in fiscal year 2009. Finally, management uses the non-GAAP measures of “Adjusted Income before Provision for Income Taxes,” “Adjusted Provision for Income Taxes,” “Adjusted Net Income” and “Adjusted Diluted Earnings per Share” to measure the Company’s operating performance based on current period iPhone and Apple TV sales, to facilitate on-going operating decisions, and compare performance relative to competitors.
Management believes that these non-GAAP financial measures, when taken together with the corresponding consolidated GAAP measures and related segment information, provide incremental insight into the underlying factors and trends affecting both the Company’s performance and its cash generating potential. Management believes these non-GAAP measures increase the transparency of the Company’s current results and enable investors to more fully understand trends in its current and future performance. Beginning with this earnings release, the Company plans to include these non-GAAP measures of financial performance as part of its earnings releases.
Cautions on Use of Non-GAAP Measures
As noted previously, these non-GAAP financial measures are not consistent with GAAP because they do not reflect the deferral of revenue and product costs for recognition in later periods. These non-GAAP financial measures do not adjust for the costs associated with the Company’s intention to provide unspecified new features and software to purchasers of iPhone and Apple TV products. These costs are expensed as incurred under GAAP’s subscription accounting model, and are not adjusted in these non-GAAP financial measures. As such, these non-GAAP financial measures are not intended to reflect in a given period all of the costs of sales made in that period. Rather, the non-GAAP financial measures presented below are intended for the limited purpose of presenting performance measures that include the total sales, related product costs, and resulting income for iPhones and AppleTVs in the period those products are sold to customers.
Management believes investors will benefit from greater transparency in referring to these non-GAAP financial measures when assessing the Company’s operating results, as well as when forecasting and analyzing future periods. However, management recognizes that:
- these non-GAAP financial measures are limited in their usefulness and should be considered only as a supplement to the Company’s GAAP financial measures;
- these non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered in isolation from, or as a substitute for, the Company’s GAAP financial measures;
- these non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered to be superior to the Company’s GAAP financial measures;
- these non-GAAP financial measures were not prepared in accordance with GAAP and investors should not assume that the non-GAAP financial measures presented in this earnings release were prepared under a comprehensive set of rules or principles;
- these non-GAAP financial measures are not presented with comparable non-GAAP financial measures for prior periods, although management intends to continue to track and present these non-GAAP financial measures for future periods; and
- until management presents comparable non-GAAP financial measures for additional periods, these non-GAAP financial measures do not provide any information regarding trends in the Company’s performance and, as such, investors should not assume that the presentation of these non-GAAP financial measures reflects any positive or negative trends in the Company’s performance.
Further, these non-GAAP financial measures may be unique to the Company, as they may be different from non-GAAP financial measures used by other companies. As such, this presentation of non-GAAP financial measures may not enhance the comparability of the Company’s results to the results of other companies.
A reconciliation of each non-GAAP financial measure to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure or measures appears at the end of this press release.
This press release contains forward-looking statements including without limitation those about the Company’s estimated revenue and earnings per share. These statements involve risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ. Risks and uncertainties include without limitation the effect of competitive and economic factors, and the Company’s reaction to those factors, on consumer and business buying decisions with respect to the Company’s products; potential litigation from the matters investigated by the special committee of the board of directors and the restatement of the Company’s consolidated financial statements; continued competitive pressures in the marketplace; the ability of the Company to deliver to the marketplace and stimulate customer demand for new programs, products, and technological innovations on a timely basis; the effect that product transitions, changes in product pricing or mix, and/or increases in component costs could have on the Company’s gross margin; the inventory risk associated with the Company’s need to order or commit to order product components in advance of customer orders; the continued availability on acceptable terms, or at all, of certain components and services essential to the Company’s business currently obtained by the Company from sole or limited sources; the effect that the Company’s dependency on manufacturing and logistics services provided by third parties may have on the quality, quantity or cost of products manufactured or services rendered; the Company’s reliance on the availability of third-party digital content; the potential impact of a finding that the Company has infringed on the intellectual property rights of others; the effect that product and service quality problems could have on the Company’s sales and operating profits; the Company’s reliance on sole service providers for iPhone in certain countries; war, terrorism, public health issues, and other circumstances that could disrupt supply, delivery, or demand of products; unfavorable results of other legal proceedings; and the Company’s dependency on the performance of distributors and other resellers of the Company’s products. More information on potential factors that could affect the Company’s financial results is included from time to time in the Company’s public reports filed with the SEC, including the Company’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 29, 2007; its Forms 10-Q for the quarters ended December 29, 2007, March 29, 2008 and June 28, 2008; and its Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 27, 2008, to be filed with the SEC. The Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements or information, which speak as of their respective dates.
Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobile phone market with its revolutionary iPhone.