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Apple, Microsoft, Verizon All Rake in Quarterly Dough

Three titans of tech – Apple, Microsoft and Verizon – released their quarterly earnings on Tuesday. Here’s a takeaway of each company’s results, with a sprinkling of commentary to keep you entertained.

Apple. That little thing called the iPhone paid off yet again for the folks in Cupertino, to the tune of $7.7 billion – yes, billion – in profit. Revenue amounted to $37.4 billion, up from $35.3 billion in the year-ago period. Apple attributed the growth to the sales of iPhones and Macs.  

On that note, Apple said it sold 35.2 million iPhones, compared to 31.2 million in 2013’s second quarter. And the iPhone 6 hasn’t even been released yet.

Meantime, Apple also said it sold 4.4 million Macs, up from 3.8 million in the same quarter last year and ahead of analysts’ expectations of about 3.9 million. That kind of boggles the mind, considering how much a Mac costs – or, at least the MacBook Pro, anyway. (Side note: Did you know these babies can last seven years and counting? That’s getting to an almost-reasonable per-year financial breakdown. Good luck to you, new Mac buyers.)

Microsoft. Nokia didn’t do Microsoft many favors in this past quarter. True, Redmond did post a 17 percent revenue increase but it also took a 7 percent income hit because of the April purchase of Nokia’s Devices and Services Business. That deal did add about $2 billion to Microsoft’s fiscal fourth-quarter sales but it also contributed to an operating loss of $692 million.

Check out the numbers:

  • Profit: $4.6 billion, down from $4.97 billion in 2013’s fiscal fourth quarter
  • Revenue: $23.4 billion, compared to $19.9 billion a year ago

The report for this current quarter will lend more insight into Microsoft’s plans for the Nokia unit. So far, the software giant has decided to cut 18,000 jobs over the coming year as it transitions to a cloud and mobility specialist, and as it eliminates certain Nokia products.

Up next, Verizon.

Verizon. Verizon loves tablets. This became obvious last week when a customer service rep tried his darndest to push a free Ellipsis 7 on a happily, rebelliously tablet-free family. The effort was epic and worth a raise. Anyway, despite the resistance posed by said family (and let’s just overlook that this incident occurred in the current quarter), Verizon added more than 1.4 million coveted postpaid customers and 80 percent of those were for tablets. Overall, Big Red gained almost 50 percent more customers than the same period a year ago.

In terms of numbers, second-quarter profit amounted to $4.21 billion, up from $2.25 billion a year earlier. Wireless revenue rose 7.5 percent to $21.5 billion and total revenue grew 5.7 percent to $31.48 billion. Verizon called that its highest quarterly growth rate in six quarters. The company ended the quarter with 104.6 million retail wireless customers, up 4.6 percent from a year ago.

Verizon was helped by its deal earlier this year to gain full ownership of Verizon Wireless. It bought Vodafone Group’s 45 percent stake for $130 billion and now has complete control of its wireless operations.

Finally, on the somewhat-overlooked wireline side, Verizon was able to thank FiOS for helping boost revenue by 0.3 percent from a year ago. Maybe “True Blood” is good for something after all. CFO Fran Shammo called the revenue increase, which might strike some as trivial, a “milestone” because it marked the first time in seven years Verizon’s landline revenue has shown growth. Still, the company noted that wireline revenue for 2014 is likely to remain flat.


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