On Jan. 22, ubiquitous gadget guru Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) released first-quarter 2008 earnings for the period ended Dec. 29, 2007.

  • The iPod/iTunes gravy train rolls on, right alongside iPhones, iMacs, iToasters, and iSinks. OK, not the last two, but you get the picture.
  • Apple doesn't much like to repurchase stock; it hasn't paid a dividend since 1996, when the iPod was but a glimmer in Steve Jobs' spectacled eye; and it spent just $455 million on acquisitions in the last 20 years. What are you hoarding all that cash for, Steve?
  • Then again, this company is less recession-proof than some others I can think of. Forty-four percent of Apple's revenue comes from the Americas alone. A debt-free, $18 billion bankroll should get Cupertino through plenty of bad times.

(Figures in millions, except per-share data)

Income Statement Highlights

Q1 2008

Q1 2007

Change

Sales

$9,608

$7,115

35.0%

Net Profit

$1,581

$1,004

57.5%

EPS

$1.76

$1.14

54.4%

Diluted Shares

900.1

883.3

1.9%

Get back to basics with the income statement.

Margin Checkup

Q1 2008

Q1 2007

Change*

Gross Margin

34.7%

31.2%

3.5

Operating Margin

22.1%

18.6%

3.5

Net Margin

16.5%

14.1%

2.4

*Expressed in percentage points.

Margins are the earnings engine.

Balance Sheet Highlights

Assets

Q1 2008

Q1 2007

Change

Cash + ST Invest.

$18,448

$11,869

55.4%

Accounts Rec.

$1,939

$1,621

19.6%

Inventory

$459

$303

51.5%

Liabilities

Q1 2008

Q1 2007

Change

Accounts Payable

$5,366

$3,885

38.1%

Long-Term Debt

$0

$0

N/A

The balance sheet reflects the company's health.

Cash Flow Highlights

Q1 2008

Q1 2007

Change

Cash From Ops.

$2,787

$1,813

53.7%

Capital Expenditures

$224

$142

57.7%

Free Cash Flow

$2,563

$1,671

53.4%

Owner Earnings

$1,463

$936

56.3%

Free cash flow is a Fool's best friend.

Competitive Context

Market Cap

Trailing P/E Ratio

CAPS Rating

Apple

$120,680

34.9

***

Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM)

$47,560

45.3

**

Dell (Nasdaq: DELL)

$43,920

14.8

**

Adobe Systems (Nasdaq: ADBE)

$19,120

27.5

****

Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX)

$1,490

24.0

**

Using the latest reported numbers from Capital IQ. Keep your partners close and the competition in your vest pocket.

Related Foolishness:

Netflix and Dell rub shoulders at the Motley Fool Stock Advisor cocktail party, and Dell also hangs out with the Motley Fool Inside Value crowd.

Fool by Numbers is designed to give you the raw earnings information in a timely fashion, putting all the numbers you need in one easy-to-read place. But at The Motley Fool, we believe numbers tell only part of the story, so check Fool.com for more of our in-depth discussion of what the numbers mean.

At the time of publication, Anders Bylund was a Netflix shareholder but had no other position in any company mentioned. Fool rules are here.