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

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%.

Implications
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.

A free stock pick for the New Year
There's a huge difference between a good stock, and a stock that can make you rich. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

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.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.


Compare Brokers