Apple today announced its earnings for its fourth fiscal quarter of 2012. Apple’s revenue amounted to $36 billion in Q4. With earnings of $8.67 per share. Apple posted $8.2 billion in profit. The revenue numbers beat industry estimates, but profit did not.

Apple sold 25.9 million iPhones, up 58% year over year, and 14 million iPads this quarter, up 26% year over year. Apple sold 4.9 million Macs during the quarter, bringing sales up 1% when compared to the same quarter a year ago. iPod sales were at 5.2 million down 19%.

“We’re very proud to end a fantastic fiscal year with record September quarter results,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re entering this holiday season with the best iPhone, iPad, Mac and iPod products ever, and we remain very confident in our new product pipeline.”

“We’re pleased to have generated over $41 billion in net income and over $50 billion in operating cash flow in fiscal 2012,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2013, we expect revenue of about $52 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $11.75.”

It’s important to note, of course, that the iPhone 5 was only on sale for 8 days of this quarter, and that Apple’s holiday quarter will be enormous with a new phone and two new iPad models on sale. Apple CEO Tim Cook announced just a couple of days ago that Apple had sold 100 million iPads in its 2.5 years on the market. That caused some analysts to lower iPad sales expectations.

Of the iPods sold, some 3 million were of the newly introduced models and 200 million Apple devices are already running iOS 6.

Dare to compare

Fortune estimates of Apple’s Q4 had placed overall revenue estimates from analysts at around $35.51 billion in revenue, with earnings of $8.75 EPS. Estimates had placed iPhone sales at around 26.42 million and iPad sales at around 17 million.

In the first fiscal quarter of 2012, Apple’s revenue amounted to $46.33B, with earnings of $13.87 per share. The company’s net profit in Q1 was $13.06 billion. In the Q2 2012 earnings report, issued in April, Apple reported $39.2 billion revenue, $13.06 billion profit, $12.30 EPS, 35.1 million iPhones, 11.8 million iPads, 4.89 million Macs.

Apple’s revenue amounted to $35B in Q3. With earnings of $9.32 per share. The company’s net profit in Q3 was $8.8 billion. These numbers ‘missed’ industry estimates slightly but beat Apple’s own estimates. Apple sold 4 million Macs during that quarter, bringing sales up 2% when compared to the same quarter a year ago. iPod sales were at 6.8 million down 10%.

Apple’s own estimates for Q4 were easily beat. “Looking ahead to the fourth fiscal quarter,” Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO, said in July, ” we expect revenue of about $34 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $7.65.”

On October 17th, 2011 Apple announced that sales of the iPhone 4S had exceeded 4 million units over its first weekend. The iPhone 5 was said to exceed that, selling 5M units over its first weekend. This September, Apple said that 2M iPhone 5s had been ordered in 24 hours, doubling the pre-order record for the iPhone 4S.

Apple will be streaming its earnings call live at 2pm, we will bring you important news and analysis from the call shortly thereafter.

The stash

Apple now has a cash hoard, including cash, short term and long term investments, of some $123.3 billion after its newly announced dividend payout.

The Charts

Image Credit: Feng Li/Getty Images