On October 25th, Apple announced earnings for the 13-week period ended September 29, 2012. For the quarter, Apple reported revenue growth of 27.22% to $35.966 billion and earnings per share growth of 22.98% to $8.67 per share. The earnings per share outcome in the quarter was negatively impacted by accelerated recognition of foreign exchange-related losses.
In contrast to the September quarterly results, for the fiscal year ended the same date, Apple reported revenue growth of 44.58% to $156.508 billion and earnings per share growth of 59.54% to $44.16.
View Apple By Seasons, Not By Quarters
The charts below illustrate the quarterly changes in year-over-year and sequential rates of revenue and earnings growth for the most recent twelve fiscal quarters. Apple's high annual growth rates are now concentrated in a six-month season comprised of the company's December and March quarters. The June and September quarters have comparatively slower rates of revenue and earnings growth and represent their own six-month revenue and earnings season.
Apple's quarterly results are essentially static snapshots of a fast-moving enterprise. Results are best viewed based on annual growth rates and the year-over-year growth rates of the company's two and distinctly different revenue growth seasons.
Apple's quarterly revenue growth rates FQ1 2010 - FQ4 2012:
Apple's quarterly earnings per share growth rates FQ1 2010 - FQ4 2012:
Apple's Annual Revenue and Earnings Growth Rates
The charts below illustrate Apple's dramatic rates of revenue and earnings growth over the most recent seven fiscal years. The annual rates of revenue and earnings growth will continue to be far more uniform than the rates of quarterly growth depicted in the graphs at the top of the article. The highly seasonal nature of Apple's revenue activity will continue not only because of the refresh cycle for the Apple iPhone, which comprised over 50% of the company's FY2012 revenue, but the influence of changes in the company's regional revenue mix as well.
Apple's annual EPS FY2005 - FY2012: