This article was originally published on Fool.com.
WASHINGTON, DC -- I was wrong to predict a blowout.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL.US) reported $13.81 a share in profits on $54.51 billion in revenue. Analysts were expecting $13.44 a share of profit on $54.73 billion, respectively, according to Yahoo! Finance.
Gross margin fell but to only 38.6%, above the 36% Apple had guided to. Higher margins more than made up for a sales shortfall on Apple's bottom line.
Like most prognosticators, my model presumed too much from both the iPhone and the iPad, though the latter seems to have done quite well. Here's where iPad, iPhone and Mac sales came in during fiscal Q1 versus the median projections compiled by Fortune:
Source: Apple earnings press releases.
On balance, there's a lot to like about Apple's sales numbers. Macs fell, sure, but worries over iPad cannibalisation appear to have been misplaced.
And while most were hoping for higher overall iPhone sales, 29% growth is nothing to sneeze at, especially with Research In Motion days away from introducing the BlackBerry 10 and Samsung working on yet another new version of its Galaxy-class Android phones.
Meanwhile, Apple is now sitting on more than $137 billion in cash and short- and long-term investments. That's a huge weapon CEO Tim Cook can wield on behalf of shareholders. At the very least, with the stock trading for less than 9 times next year's earnings -- a ludicrous multiple for such a persistent grower -- it's time to spend some of those billions buying back shares.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is known for his uncanny ability to spot a bargain and act decisively. After buying quality names at cheap prices during the financial crisis, last year he invested almost $1 billion in one of the UK's best-known blue chip brands -- a FTSE 100 giant in which Buffett now has a 5% stake.
If you'd like to know which UK company tempted the legendary investor to make a rare investment outside the US, then this free Motley Fool report has all the details. What's more, you may still be able to buy the shares Buffett bought at the price he paid! Indeed, the company in question has increased its dividend every year for 28 years and currently offers a yield of 4.2% -- potentially making the share a very attractive long-term investment for income-seekers.