Apple profits come close to oil company earnings

Jennifer Collins Jan 25, 2012

Jeremy Hobson: There was another major announcement last night from an American giant: Apple, which reported its best quarter ever. The company doubled sales of the iPhone, and the iPad, from the same period a year ago.

As Marketplace’s Jennifer Collins reports, the blockbuster earnings report will go down as one of the best in history for any company.

Jennifer Collins: Apple’s record $13 billion profit puts it in a very elite club — a club so elite, you have look outside the tech world for context. So forget the usual suspects in Silicon Valley.

Patrick Hughes is based in Washington. He tracks oil and gas companies for Height Analytics.

Patrick Hughes: To our knowledge, Apple is the only non-oil and gas company that’s come nearly close to posting these record quarterly earnings.

Oil and gas companies rake in record profits when the price of gas is high. Hughes says Russian company Gazprom claims the world record for quarterly earnings. It made $16 billion one quarter last year. Exxon Mobile and Shell also have historic records. All those companies ran into something Apple may face next quarter.

Brian Blair is with Wedge Partners.

Brian Blair: Apple, like everybody else, certainly will bump into the law of large numbers.

In the business world, you can translate that to: What goes up must come down. Blair says Apple has only started to tap the global demand for iPhones. So he says Apple may defy gravity — at least for a while.

I’m Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.

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