Apple Inc. Beats Earnings Estimates Thanks To Share Buybacks

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s much-anticipated fourth fiscal quarter earnings report is finally here. The company posted diluted earnings per share of $1.42 on $42.1 billion in revenue. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $1.30 per share on $39.85 billion in revenue. In the same quarter a year ago, Apple posted earnings of $1.18 per share on $37.5 billion in revenue. It should also be noted that the company has bought back a lot of shares since last year, significantly reducing the share count since then.

Basic earnings per share were $1.43.

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Apple’s key earnings metrics

Apple sold 39.3 million iPhones in the September quarter, beating the consensus estimate of 38 million. In the same quarter last year, Apple sold 33.79 million iPhones. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are still hot commodities, or at least they’re still in short supply. Apple’s website said it will still take more than a week for consumers to get the new iPhone 6 models.

The company sold 12.3 million iPads, just missing expectations of 13 million iPhones. However, Apple more than made up for that miss on Mac sales, as the company moved 5.52 million Macs, compared to the average estimate of 4.6 million Macs.

Apple also sold more iPods than expected, reporting 2.64 million units, compared to the average estimate of $2.08 million. The company reported a gross margin of 38%.

“Our fiscal 2014 was one for the record books, including the biggest iPhone launch ever with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement. “With amazing innovations in our new iPhones, iPads and Macs, as well as iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, we are heading into the holidays with Apple’s strongest product lineup ever.”

Apple reported that international sales made up 60% of its fourth fiscal quarter revenue.

Apple guides for the current quarter

For the December quarter, Apple expects revenue to be between $63.5 billion and $66.5 billion. The company expects the gross margin for the current quarter to be between 37.5% and 38.5%.