updated 08:00 pm EST, Tue January 24, 2012
Apples stock trade as high as $458
Apple's stock surged by nine percent on what is the second highest quarterly earnings result in US corporate history - only ExxonMobil has recorded more income for a quarter back in 2008 when oil prices were at record levels. After dipping slightly before its earnings were announced, Apple shares were trading as high as $458 each, or up by around $37.59.
While the call for Apple to return some of its $97.6 billion cash hoard (or $103 per share in cash) to its shareholders as dividends has again been sounded, the company has again outperformed offering shareholders significant returns should they choose to sell. Apple "is worth twice as much today as it was two years ago and four times what it was worth three years ago," Richard Bloch writes for Seeking Alpha. According to Bloch, "that's probably the best news of all for Apple shareholders."
Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer offered a rare insight into what Apple plans to do with its cash reserves, stating that its executive is "actively discussing" the strategic use of its war chest. While unspecified, this could mean using to make further acquisitions. It's recent history of acquisitions have either been used to help further differentiate the technology in their products, or to bolster its supply chain. Whether it continues this trajectory remains to be seen. Oppenheimer added that Apple is not planning on letting its cash reserves "burn a hole in our pocket."
Apple's sales of $46.3 billion for the holiday quarter is a tech industry record, and has placed it on par with HP as the biggest manufacturer of computers when the iPad is included. While it has retaken the lead from Samsung in smartphone sales, it is also on track to overtake Samsung's lead as the largest tech company in the world in terms of revenue generated.