7 Key Numbers You Need to Know About Apple

7 Numbers You Need to Know About Apple
7 Numbers You Need to Know About Apple

Apple (AAPL) finds itself in an unfamiliar place this week. The iEverything giant posted quarterly results on Tuesday night that missed Wall Street's expectations. This hasn't happened in years.

Revenue and earnings grew by 39% and 54% respectively over the past year, but the news isn't so hot on a sequential basis. Revenue for the fiscal quarter slipped compared to the third quarter.

While the iPhone 4S delay was the key culprit, the real story is in seven key numbers that Apple investors should keep in mind as they assess the world's most valuable tech company's financial performance.

16: This is how many months consumers had to wait between the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S introductions. This matters because prospective buyers tend to hold back when they know that a new iPhone is coming. The iPhone 4 was introduced on June 24, 2010, giving buyers during the months of July, August, and September last year peace of mind that they were buying the hottest new iPhone. That certainly wasn't the case this time around.

• 2002: That's how far back you have to go to find the last time that Apple didn't beat Wall Street's profit targets. A miss is still a miss, but most people would expect Apple to get back to its analyst-thumping ways starting with the current quarter.

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• 4 million: Apple sold 4 million iPhone 4S smartphones this past weekend. Yes, it's a new record. And, yes, it is going to be accounted for in the current quarter -- the first quarter of fiscal 2012. Yes, you should keep this number in mind as we get to the next one.

• 17.07 million: This is how many iPhones Apple sold during its latest quarter. We already went over the reasons why folks weren't interested in buying the Apple 4 handset, yet it was still a 21% year-over-year improvement compared to when it was brand new. More importantly, you do realize that Apple sold nearly a quarter as many iPhones this past weekend as it sold during all of the three previous months?

• 11.12 million: There were no tricky comparables with the iPad from one year to the next, though the iPad 2 still rolled out earlier this time around. Apple sold 11.12 million iPads this past quarter, 166% more than it did a year earlier.

• 4.89 million: Apple's growth in recent quarters has been so dominated by the growth of its iPad and iPhone lines that we forget that Apple still makes and sells premium computers at much higher price points than other brands. Apple sold 4.89 million Macs during the period, 26% ahead of last year's pace. Yes, Mac growth outpaced iPhone growth. Take a picture, because it won't repeat anytime soon.

• 81.6 billion: Add up Apple's cash, short-term securities, and long-term investments and you have a company with $81.6 billion in cash. Value investors may clamor for a dividend or aggressive share buyback. Growth investors will cheer on needle-moving acquisitions. Economists will argue that Apple should reinvest that money in job creation and growth. In the end, it's Apple's money -- and it's a lot of money.

Longtime Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not own shares in any of the stocks in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of and creating a bull call spread position in Apple.

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