The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which we talk about topics around the investing world. This time, Tim Beyers of Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova talks about the one number that stood out in Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) blockbuster earnings report.
Finding a single metric to focus on isn't easy, with Apple reporting so many great numbers. Revenue rose 59% as iPhone unit sales came in almost 5 million higher than expected, dousing fears that reports of weakening activations at AT&T (NYSE: T ) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) would foreshadow trouble.
Instead, the iPhone 4S generated big sales overseas. Nearly 75% of fiscal Q2 activations came from outside the U.S. -- 26.1 million units in all, according to my colleague Evan Niu's calculations. Talk about remarkable. Once a niche computer manufacturer, Apple is rapidly becoming what Nokia (NYSE: NOK ) had been for years: a global leader in mobile-device design and distribution.
And that has tangible benefits for U.S. shareholders. Cash from operations came in at $14 billion in Q2 and $53 billion over the trailing 12 months. Subtracting $5.2 billion in capital expenditures leaves close to $48 billion in free cash flow, more than enough to pay for three years of dividend and share repurchases.
Even so, there's another number that's behind my long-side CAPScall on Apple, which is also a key member of my market-beating, real-money Big Idea Portfolio. Check out the video for more.
While Apple is working its way toward becoming the next big mobile computing powerhouse, a lesser-known enterprise is profiting from the smart device revolution here and abroad. Some Fool analysts call it a multibagger in the making.