After the stock market closed yesterday, Apple Inc. (AAPL) reported its quarterly earnings. The company easily beat Wall Street’s estimates, which propelled the technology giant’s shares to trade up $30, or 7% after hours.
With the stock trading at roughly $453, Apple now has a market capitalization of more than $420 billion. This surpasses Exxon Mobil’s Corp. (XOM) market cap of $418 billion, making Apple the world’s most valuable company.
The business that Apple generated in their fiscal first quarter of 2011 was nothing short of amazing. The company sold 37 million Iphones, more than 15 million Ipads, 5.2 million Mac computers, and 15.4 Ipods.
“Customer demand was off the charts in the quarter,” Apple Chief Financial Office Peter Oppenheimer said.
Apple reported net income of $13.1 billion, or $13.87 per share. That was up 118% from $6 billion, or $6.43 a share, a year ago. Revenue jumped 73% to $46.3 billion, compared to analysts estimates that were at $38.9 billion.
Apple also reported that they now have a cash balance of $97.6 billion, up $16 billion from the prior quarter. To put this in perspective, this amount is greater than the market cap of 474 of the S&P 500.
Also amazing is that it doesn’t seem like Apple is slowing down anytime soon. The company, which tends to be conservative in its outlook, issued a forecast for the current quarter that was ahead of Wall Street’s projections. Analysts say the period will likely be driven by continued momentum of the iPhone 4S, which just launched in China. Unclear is whether the forecast includes any potential sales of an updated iPad 3, which is expected to come on the market in the March-April time frame
What do you think? Do you think Apple’s stock will hit $500 in 2012? Do you think they should issue dividend with all of the cash they have? Join the discussion below!