Editor's note: An earlier version of this article included incorrect sales figures. The Motley Fool apologizes for the error.

The numbers are in. Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) booked $12.30 a share in profits on $39.19 billion in revenue. Analysts were expecting just $10.06 a share of profit on $36.81 billion in revenue, according to Yahoo! Finance.

Fools and Wall Street alike were hoping for a blowout like this. After a run of rotten reports from the likes of Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) and Riverbed Technology (Nasdaq: RVBD) -- both of which issued disappointing guidance -- investors were virtually pleading with the Mac maker to rekindle institutional interest in big tech names.

Good news, Fools. They're back. And they're buying. Shares of Apple are already up more than 6% after-hours. Expect an even bigger rally tomorrow, when investors remember that Apple has a long history of delivering, though we've seen misses before. The last time (i.e., during Q4), the stock pulled back more than 10%.

Not this time. This time -- like so many times before -- Wall Street got punked. And not just on the top and bottom lines. Analysts fell far short in their estimates of iPhones, iPads, and Macs sold during Apple's fiscal second quarter:

Product Sold


Median Projected

Last Year

Y-o-Y Growth


35.06 million

30.59 million

18.647 million



11.88 million

11.74 million

4.694 million



4.02 million

4.07 million

3.76 million


Sources: Fortune Magazine, SEC filings, Apple press release

What's more, concerns that cut-rate hardware competitors such as Amazon.com's (Nasdaq: AMZN) $199 Kindle Fire would force Apple to drastically cut prices seems to be overblown. Gross margin improved 6 full percentage points year over year, to 47.4%.

Impressive, right? Not really. Not when you consider that Apple now has more than $100 billion in mostly liquid assets on its balance sheet, thanks mostly to generating $14 billion in cash from operations over the past three months.

In essence, it's as I said last quarter: There's rich, there's stupid rich, and then there's Apple. There's no other company like it in the world, which is why I'm keeping my shares and an outperform CAPScall. Think I'm wrong? So be it. There are plenty more safe bets trading on the cheap, including these six stocks that top professional investors are buying now.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.