Before jumping on the Apple bandwagon, I'll turn it over to Tadas of Abnormal Returns fame who summarized Apple's blow out earnings with the following powerful statement:
Apple’s results highlight this simple fact: no one knows nothing. The most followed (and analyzed) company in the world was able to exceed even the most bullish analysts’ estimates by a wide margin. If this can happen, then it should remind us that anything, good or bad, can happen in the markets. Any one telling you they know something will happen for certain, just remind them about Apple 2012 Q1 results.Now to the blow out earnings.... just a part of the exponential growth the firm has seen over the past eight or so years.
Data shown is from quarterly financial statements
Billions of this size is hard to grasp, so the following chart attempts to put it in perspective. Apple's sales over the last twelve months are equal to almost 1.2% of all U.S. personal consumption over that time (yes, I know Apple has sales outside of the U.S., but think about how much stuff 1.2% of everything U.S. citizens consume is) and around 2% of last quarter's consumption.
Data shown is rolling twelve month