Apple Inc. (AAPL) Earnings: Strong Quarter, Healthy Q1 Revenue Outlook

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) just reported 4Q:FY13 results, and the company hosted a conference call at 5:00 PM ET. Overall, analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald felt Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had a strong quarter and has a healthy 1Q:FY14 revenue outlook. Trading at just over 8x their CY:14 (ex-cash) EPS estimate, analysts’ expectation is for EPS growth to return in FY:14, and with Carl Icahn getting louder about the need for increased cash distribution, analysts at the research firm believe Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has upside to their $777 price target.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) Earnings: Strong Quarter, Healthy Q1 Revenue Outlook

Better-than-Expected Operating Margin

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) delivered 4Q:FY13 gross margin of 37% (vs. 36.9% in 3Q:FY13), nearly in-line with analysts’ 37.1% estimate. Operating margin of 26.8% was better their 26.1% projection and up from the 26% print in 3Q:FY13. Operating profit of $10.03 billion was above research firms’ estimate of $9.8 billion. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) generated $9.9 billion in operating cash flow during 4Q:FY13 and ended the quarter with $129.8 billion in net cash.

Upside in Apple’s iPhone and Mac, while In-Line on iPad

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) reported 4Q:FY13 iPhone unit sales of 33.8 million that beat analysts estimate of 32.96 million, while iPad units reached 14.1 million units and met their 14 million projection. Mac unit sales came in at 4.57 million units and were above analysts 3.79 million projection, while iPod units came in at 3.5 million units and were above their 2.97 million estimate.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) expects 1Q:FY14 sales of $55 billion to $58 billion vs. analysts recently revised revenue estimate of $58.9 billion (Consensus is at $55.6 billion), while gross margin is expected at 36.5% to 37.5% with operating expenses of $4.4 billion to $4.5 billion. Using the mid-point of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s 1Q:FY14 outlook, analysts report that they can back into EPS of approximately $13.60 vs. their estimate of $14.50 (Consensus at $13.94). Analysts estimates and price target are currently under review.

Cantor’s $777 price target is based on nearly 14x their CY:14 pro forma EPS estimate (adjusted for interest income/expense), plus Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s net cash per share.

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