Apple just had its most profitable year in company history

Apple's earnings demonstrate that the company continues to fire on all cylinders.

Apple earnings company's best year in history
REUTERS/Mike Segar

Apple recently released its earnings for the quarter gone by and, yet again, managed to beat Wall Street expectations. For the October quarter, Apple posted revenue of $51.5 billion and a quarterly profit of $11.1 billion. And thanks to Apple's aggressive stock buyback program, EPS for the quarter checked in at $1.96 per share, a marked increase from earnings of $1.42 per share during the same quarter a year ago.

Compared to last year's October quarter, revenue was up 22% while profits were up 30%, thanks in large part to higher-than-expected margins.

"Fiscal 2015 was Apple's most successful year ever, with revenue growing 28 percent to nearly $234 billion,"Apple's Tim Cook said in a press release. "This continued success is the result of our commitment to making the best, most innovative products on earth, and it's a testament to the tremendous execution by our teams."

Product-wise, the iPhone accounted for the bulk of Apple's quarterly revenue, delivering $32.2 billion to the company's bottom line. From a sales perspective, year-over-year sales increased by 22% while revenue from the iPhone increased by 36%.

Also performing well this past quarter was the Mac, with Apple selling 5.7 million units, a new Q4 sales record. The iPad, meanwhile, continues to struggle. Year over year, both unit shipments and revenue from the iPad dropped by 20%. In fact, the Mac is actually a more lucrative part of Apple's business than the iPad, a statement which would have seemed absurd just two years ago.

With respect to the Apple Watch, Apple, as expected, didn't break out any sales figures, instead lumping sales into the "Other Products" category. Still, if we compare how the category performed in fiscal 2015 compared to fiscal 2014, we see a $1.68 billion difference. In other words, Apple Watch sales are certainly in the millions at this point, though it's still hard to come up with sales figures. If we hypothetically assume that the ASP of the Apple Watch is $500, that would yield about 3 million in unit sales. All in all, that's somewhat respectable given that it's an entirely new product category that a) just launched about six months ago and b) requires an iPhone to use.

During the course of Apple's subsequent earnings conference call, the company revealed that it sold a whopping total of 300 million devices over the last 12 months. Cash-wise, the company finished out the quarter with $205 billion.

As a final point worth noting, Tim Cook said that the number of new iPhone buyers coming over from Android now stands at 30%, representing the highest switch rate Apple has ever seen.

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