Evidence Mounts: Apple Could Post Big Numbers in Its First Quarter

The reports are accumulating, and the data suggests Apple likely had an impressive first quarter.

Jan 5, 2014 at 8:00PM

"Big," of course, should be put in perspective. Pretty much any number Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) reports is big in absolute terms. In Q4, for instance, Apple sold 33.8 million iPhones, and 14.1 million iPads -- those aren't small numbers by any measure. Even record numbers are normal for Apple. Indeed, Apple is guiding for record revenue in Q1. So what is "big" for Apple in Q1? Considering that Apple guided for $55 to $58 billion in revenue and its guidance has recently taken a turn for considerable accuracy, $60 billion plus would be on the brink of big.

So why does Apple look poised to easily deliver $60 billion plus revenue? A combination of evidence that surfaced during the holidays suggests demand for Apple's products was more than solid -- it looks terrific. Looking back, let's review the stories.

Apple Logo Store Tmf

A Black Friday weekend blowout
During the Black Friday weekend (including Cyber Monday), Apple products saw impressive sales growth in the U.S. compared to the prior weekend, according to Localytics data. In fact, Apple products took six of the top nine spots in sales growth among the devices Localytics tracked. In first, second, and third were the iPad Air, iPad Mini, and iPhone 5c. Most impressively, the iPad Air saw growth of 51%; the closest non-Apple product was the Kindle Fire HD 7" with 23% growth.


iPhone 5s.

Popularity of iPhone 5s and 5c at U.S. carriers
During September, October, and November, the iPhone 5s was the top-selling phone at every carrier, according to Canaccord Genuity. Meanwhile, the lower-cost iPhone 5c was at least the second or third best selling smartphone at every carrier during each month.

Apple gains market share
Just-released data from Chitika shows that Apple was the only smartphone brand to gain market share of web traffic in North America during the holidays. Apple's share of traffic the week of Christmas jumped 1.8% to 54.3%. Comparatively, Samsung's actually declined 0.8% to 23.7%.

Though Apple's guidance is far more accurate since it changed its methods for providing guidance in January, the massive numbers Apple deals with during its holiday quarter likely make the task more difficult for management. And if Apple is going to err on any side of guidance during the important quarter, Apple would likely prefer to err on the side of conservatism. That said, is it likely Apple really predicted their products would do this well? All three of these reports point to impressively robust demand for Apple's products during the holidays. Perhaps a $60 billion quarter is now a sensible expectation.

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Fool contributor Daniel Sparks owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and International Business Machines. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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