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Under Tim Cook, Apple Posts World Record Quarterly Profit

Under Tim Cook, Apple Posts World Record Quarterly Profit

Tim Cook is not just the only openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company — he’s now the openly gay CEO of the company with the largest quarterly profit ever.

Apple Inc. Tuesday announced it had an $18 billion profit for the quarter that ended December 27, which is the first quarter of its fiscal year, Reuters reports. That represents the largest quarterly profit by any public company, anywhere in the world, Standard & Poor’s analyst Howard Silverblatt told the news service.

Apple “smashed Wall Street expectations” with the record profit, Reuters notes, adding that contributing factors included “record sales of big-screen iPhones in the holiday shopping season and a 70 percent rise in China sales.” The company’s big quarter came at a time when other tech companies, such as Microsoft and IBM, have posted disappointing results.

Company executives were optimistic about further growth. Sales in China are likely to remain strong, even though the expansion of China’s economy has slowed somewhat, chief financial officer Luca Maestri told Reuters. Apple will have 40 retail stores in China by mid-2016, he said.

Cook noted that Apple will bring out its next product, the Apple Watch, in April. The company will also consider adding new features to its mobile payment service, Apple Pay, as it weighs whether to expand the service outside the U.S., Cook said.

Some outside analysts also said they expect Apple’s momentum to continue. Of Apple Pay, Disruptive Research founder Lou Basenese told CNBC, “Until now there's been no mobile payment solution that has captivated the masses, but I think Apple has a few key ingredients to do just that.”

But, he warned, “Apple cannot afford to misfire with the Apple Watch. It’s too big of a company for any product to be a failure. ... The one thing that becomes pivotal this year is the success of Apple Watch early on. It’s going to naturally drive more iPhone sales, so the adoption of the watch becomes critical.”

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