7 Numbers That Apple Investors Need to Know

Apple revenue
Apple revenue

After seeing its stock fall in 10 of the past 11 trading sessions, Apple (AAPL) is reminding investors why it's the world's most valuable publicly traded company.

Apple delivered blowout quarterly results on Tuesday night. Revenue climbed 59% to $39.2 billion, and earnings per share nearly doubled to $12.30 a share. Analysts were only expecting a profit of $10.06 a share on $36.8 million in revenue.

There's always plenty to chew on in an Apple report, but let's boil this down to the numbers that matter beyond the top- and bottom-line performance.

Here are the seven numbers that Apple investors should keep in mind as they assess Apple's blowout quarter.

• $8.68
Why does Apple even bother insulting investors by providing lowball guidance? The company topped off its strong report by forecasting revenue of $34 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $8.68 for the new quarter.

Novice investors would get worried about that. Analysts are expecting a profit of $9.93 a share on $37.4 billion in revenue for the three months ending in June.

However, real Apple aficionados know that the class act of Cupertino loves to underestimate itself.

• 12.6
Based on Apple's close at $560.28 on Tuesday -- before its earnings-related pop -- the company was fetching just 12.6 times this fiscal year's projected profitability of $44.47 a share.

Look ahead to fiscal 2013, which begins in less than six months, and Apple's earnings multiple shrinks to less than 11. Apple may be this generation's growth stock, but sometimes it feels like the mother of all value stocks.

• 4.1 million
Where art thou, halo effect? Apple sold 4.1 million Macs during the quarter, just 7% ahead of where it was last year. PC sales in general have been sluggish, and Apple can rightfully argue that it may be the culprit. A lot of people that would normally buy cheap laptops to surf the Web, check email, and stream media are now buying iPads and other tablets.

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The scary thing about this metric is that desktop-tethered Macs are holding up better than the portable MacBooks. Apple sold just 2% more MacBooks than it did a year earlier, and because the average selling price is slightly lower, revenue from Apple's portable computers has actually fallen 1% over the past year.

• 7.7 million
No one is surprised by cascading iPod sales anymore. The same company that sold 9 million iPods during last year's fiscal second quarter and 15.4 million iPods during the holiday quarter only handed over 7.7 million iPod devices.

This isn't a big deal. The iPod has been losing steam since the iPad was introduced. Since an iPad is essentially a super-sized iPod, it's a good thing that the iPad growth is more than offsetting the decline in iPod sales.

11.8 million
Not every Apple metric was impressive. Apple sold 11.8 million iPads during the quarter. It obviously wasn't going to match the 15.4 million iPad 2 units it sold during the holiday quarter. Apple's tablet has become a popular gift item despite its stiff price tag.

However, given the arrival of the new iPad during the final month of the quarter, analysts were expecting to see 13 million iPads sold. It didn't happen.

• 35.1 million
How do you like them iPhones? After hearing that Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T) suffer sizable declines in iPhone sales during the first three months of the year relative to the holidays, skeptics began breaking into their happy dances. Analysts figured that Apple moved closer to 30 million iPhones after the 37 million smartphones that Apple sold during the holiday quarter.
Well, 35.1 million iPhones is pretty darn impressive considering that the iPhone 4S was introduced late last year to strong initial demand heading into the holidays.

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How can it be? Verizon and AT&T were whining about double-digit percentage declines sequentially. Well, investors mustn't forget that nearly two-thirds of Apple's business these days is international. As wireless carriers closer to home are whining about subsidies and pushing consumers toward Android handsets where they can score meatier profits, the iPhone is a rock star in many foreign markets.

• 110.2 billion
Add up Apple's cash, short-term securities, and long-term investments and you have a company with $110.2 billion in cash. Even if a good chunk of that change is locked up overseas -- waiting for a hoped-for tax repatriation holiday to come back home -- the company's loaded.

It obviously won't have a problem shelling out the quarterly dividend that it recently reinitiated. The same goes for the ambitious share buyback that's also in the works for next year.

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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