On Tuesday afternoon, Apple reported quarterly revenue of $46.33 billion for the quarter ending December 31, for a net profit of $13.06 billion. The report well exceeded expectations, pushing Apple shares up 7 percent in early trading today.
The brand that has achieved almost religious status for some diehard fans continues to expand its reach by impressive leaps. Even for a tech behemoth like Apple, these were impressive numbers; profits are more than double what they were in the year-ago quarter, as are iPhone and iPad sales. In the first quarter of its 2012 fiscal year, Apple sold more than 37 million iPhones and 15.4 million iPads.
How big are Apple's numbers in the grand scheme of things?
- Apple's quarterly revenues were more than double Microsoft's $20.89 billion for its most recent quarter.
- Walmart, which sits atop the Fortune 500, took in $109.5 billion in sales in its most recent quarter (for the period ending Oct. 31, 2011), more than twice Apple's quarterly revenue (Apple is No. 35 on Fortune's list).
- Apple's quarterly revenue alone of $46.3 billion is just under Bulgaria's estimated GDP for all of 2010, $47.7 billion. The quarterly profit is just larger than Iceland's 2010 estimated GDP, $12.59 billion.
- Those sales are also nearly equivalent to the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development's FY 2012 budget of $47 billion.
- And the quarterly earnings are just a few billion less than the net worth of the wealthiest man in the world, Mexico's Carlos Slim Helu, and his family.
- The quarterly profit alone dwarfs the total worth of several other household name Fortune 500 companies. It's around $6 billion less than the market cap (the total value of all tradable outstanding shares at its current market price) of Yahoo! and more than four times the current market cap of the Washington Post Company ($3.06 billion).
Beyond the figures from its quarterly report, however, Apple's total annual revenues and market worth are even more daunting.
- Apple's 2011 revenues were over $65.2 billion. That equals around 0.4 percent of the total U.S. GDP.
- Apple's market cap has surpassed $400 billion, and is larger than Greece's GDP. (In fact, Greece owes 14.4 billion euro, or around $18.6 billion, to creditors on March 20, a deadline that could potentially trigger default. Apple's most recent quarterly profits could provide two-thirds of the cash needed to foot that bill.)
- It's nearly two-thirds of the Pentagon's $671 billion FY 2012 budget request.
- It's slightly larger than the GDP of the Philadelphia metropolitan area ($346.9 billion, as of 2010), but roughly one-third of the total New York metropolitan area GDP ($1.28 trillion).