Two Key Points On Apple's Stellar Earnings

| About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)

By Carl Howe

I've just started looking though the stellar results, but two results jump out at me right away:
  • $2 billion in deferred revenue. We knew that iPhone and AppleTV revenue was going to appear on Apple's balance sheet instead of on its income statement. And sure enough, Apple has nicely broken out its deferred revenue in a separate statement which you can see here. The interesting bit: Apple added $600 million in deferred revenue for iPhones and AppleTVs since last quarter. I don't yet understand the difference between current and non-current deferred revenue; perhaps someone can enlighten me or I'll read about it on the transcript from the earnings call. But no matter how its accounted for, the numbers are big.

  • Upward guidance on revenue and earnings for the holiday quarter. Steve Jobs said in an interview with the New York Times today that he believed Apple has the strongest product lineup for the holidays ever. Today's projection says that Apple is putting its mouth behind that money: it's projecting it will earn $1.42 on $9.2 billion in revenue in the upcoming quarter, surpassing analyst estimates by far. And given the company's tendency to keep expectations in check, you can bet that there's upside to that forecast.

Bottom line: You know a company is doing well when it exceeds even the most optimistic expectations. Apple is in that zone now; the stock is up 13 points in the aftermarket already. With this start and only four days to the Leopard release, it's going to be a very exciting week.