Drumroll please... After recalculating the last two years of Apple's (AAPL) earnings to reflect the true revenue and earnings from iPhone sales (non-GAAP), I have found Apple's real growth rate to be absolutely stunning. For full year 2008, Apple's revenues totaled $39,038 billion compared with $28,339 billion during full year 2007. This represents 38% revenue growth year over year. Profit growth rates are even better. Net income for full year 2008 came in at $7,054 billion compared to $4,722 billion in 2007 resulting in 49% year over year earnings growth. Apple ended the year with $28.1 billion in cash compared to $18.4 billion in cash last year for an amazing cash growth rate in 2008 of 53%! For the quarter, Apple grew earnings at 16% and grew revenue at 9%.
The great Ronald Reagan once said that "there are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits to the human capacity for intelligence, imagination, and wonder." And so it is for Apple. The company that allows us to download music, movies, games and 15,000 other software applications right onto our computer, iPod or iPhone is deserving of some serious accolades in the midst of this recession. Many have criticized the company for not lowering prices enough-yesterday I read an article that asked why would anyone buy an Apple when you can get a cheaper Dell (DELL)? As a user of both, I laughed to myself as I tried to figure out how much more valuable my Mac was. The Mac runs both Windows and Leopard, peripheral devices work immediately upon connection, built in Wi-Fi automatically picks up the signal, in three years I've never had a virus, I've got a built in camera, and above all, the iLife software has expanded my digital reach in so many ways.
I know the way of intelligence leads many to criticize but every now and then we must see things as they really are. This company should be celebrated, the stock is severely undervalued because of the uncertainties surrounding Mr. Jobs' health and the economy but both of those are now in the past. Apple is showing that United States innovation can still lead the world and that not all growth is dead.
Disclosure: Long AAPL