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Apple most profitable company despite Wall Street brush-off

The iPhone maker got the bum's rush after its latest quarter, but its earnings outshone those of all other U.S. corporations.


Apple's most recent quarter failed to please analysts and investors, yet the results made it the most profitable company in the United States.

For the December quarter, Apple reported earnings of $13.1 billion on sales of $54.5 billion. The quarter marked one of Apple's biggest profits and hit a record for overall revenue and sales of iOS devices.

However, analysts were expecting more. And so, Apple's shares tanked as the company found itself in the Wall Street doghouse.

But the $13.1 billion profit actually made Apple top dog. A chart compiled by statistics site Statista found that Apple's December quarter earnings surpassed those of all other U.S. companies.

In second place for the quarter was ExxonMobil with $10 billion in earnings, followed by Chevron with $7.2 billion. The spots held by those two runner-ups are ironic since Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly told employees recently that "the only companies that report better quarters pump oil."

In fact, only ExxonMobil and Russian energy company Gazprom have reported higher profits than Apple in the past, according to Statista.

In an e-mail sent to Apple employees, Cook even praised staffers for their "incredible hard work and focus" in "another record-setting quarter." The CEO noted that more than 75 million iOS devices were sold for the quarter, which he called a "testament to the strength of Apple's innovation."

And how did other tech giants fare for the quarter? Among all of those on the top 10 list, Microsoft earned $6.4 billion, while IBM took in $5.8 billion.

Of course, much of the concern among analysts and investors is about Apple's future. Some feel that the company's best days may be behind it.

Certainly, things have changed in recent years. Apple now faces more competition in the smartphone and tablet arenas.

And Cook has had to try to fill the shoes of the late Steve Jobs, a challenging task for anyone.

But underestimating Apple has usually proven to be a mistake. The company may not be the darling of Wall Street right now. But it has a knack for shaking up the industry with new and unexpected products that manage to draw the attention of analysts, investors, and customers alike.