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Apple relishing robust financials thanks to iPad rebound, iPhone demand

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Up 12 percent year-to-year, Apple announced that strong sales of its iPhone lines help it record revenue of $42.1 billion for the fourth quarter of its 2014 fiscal year.

During the third quarter, the company reported $37.4 billion in revenue. Many investors found their projections for the company's fourth quarter were too conservative, as Apple was still able to move a comparable amount of iPads as it had done in the previous terms.

"Our fiscal 2014 was one for the record books, including the biggest iPhone launch ever with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. "With amazing innovations in our new iPhones, iPads and Macs, as well as iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, we are heading into the holidays with Apple's strongest product lineup ever. We are also incredibly excited about Apple Watch and other great products and services in the pipeline for 2015."

While the Sept. 19 launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus came just before the quarter's Sept. 27 conclusion, Apple moved 4 million more of its popular smartphones than it had in the third quarter.

The company moved 39.2 million iPhones, 12.3 million iPad, 5.5 million Macs and 2.6 billion iPods. iPhones alone accounted for $23.6 billion of the company's revenue.

Macs accounted for $6.6 billion in revenue while iPads fell to $5.3 billion from $5.8 billion in the previous quarter. Despite the iPads falling behind Macs in revenue, Apple's Touch ID refresh of its tablets has left many analysts sure the mobile devices will climb back ahead of the company's desktops and laptops.

Apple projects its finances for the first quarter of its 2015 fiscal year will see revenue somewhere between $63.5 billion and $66.5 billion, with a gross margin between 37.5 percent and 38.5 percent. It anticipates its operating expenses will hover somewhere around $5.5 billion, with miscellaneous income expenses accounting for about $325 million.

"Our strong business performance drove EPS growth of 20 percent and a record $13.3 billion in cash flow from operations in the September quarter," said Apple CFO Luca Maestri. "We continued to execute aggressively against our capital return program, spending over $20 billion in the quarter and bringing cumulative returns to $94 billion."

Canaccord Genuity analysts told clients it is an encouraging sign that Apple isn't expected to supply the full demand for iPhones until sometime in 2015.

"[We] were encouraged by Tim Cook's comments regarding Apple basically selling every iPhone 6/6 Plus it can produce and will likely remain undersupplied relative to demand through the end of 2014," Canaccord Genuity stated.

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