Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Apple Shares Zoom On Healthy iPhone Sales

Apple Inc on Tuesday delivered surprisingly strong fiscal third-quarter earnings and signaled that its upcoming 10th-anniversary phone lineup is on schedule, driving the stock up 6 percent to an all-time high in after-hours trading.

According to Reuters, the stock climbed above its intraday record high to $159.10 after the company reported better-than-expected iPhone sales, revenue and earnings per share. The stock price move was expected to help drive the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the 22,000 mark on Wednesday.

Apple also said it hit a milestone of 1.2 billion iPhones sold.

The April-June quarter is traditionally a soft one for Apple as the market waits for the September launch of new iPhone models. But Tuesday’s results show that iPhone buyers may be less inclined than they once were to delay purchases until a new model is out.

The iPad product lines also showed unexpected strength, service revenue continues to grow at a healthy clip, and even the much-maligned Apple Watch showed a 50 percent sales increase.

Apple is widely tipped to adopt higher-resolution OLED displays for the latest iPhone, along with better touchscreen technology and wireless charging - which could come with a $1,000 plus price tag.

The phone is expected to launch in September.

The company forecast total revenue of between $49 billion and $52 billion for the current fourth quarter, while analysts on average were expecting $49.21 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Apple's fourth quarter generally includes first-weekend sales of the company's latest devices.

Meanwhile, Billboard reports across its five product sectors -- iPhone, iPad, Mac, Services (which includes Apple Music, iTunes and the App Store as well as Apple Pay and AppleCare) and Other Products (which includes Apple Watch, Apple TV and other products) -- all increased revenue over the same period last year. Other Products (up 23 percent) and Services (up 22 percent) led the way in percent revenue growth.

While Apple doesn't break out specifics within their Services division, which would provide a deeper look into how its music businesses are doing financially, CEO Tim Cook pointed out in a statement that the Services division delivered an all-time quarterly record, with revenue up to $7.266 billion, besting both the $5.98 billion in revenue from the same quarter last year, and even up three percent over the $7.04 billion it posted in the prior quarter.

“With revenue up seven percent year-over-year, we’re happy to report our third consecutive quarter of accelerating growth and an all-time quarterly record for Services revenue,” Cook said. Added Apple CFO Luca Maestri, “We reported unit and revenue growth in all our product categories in the June quarter, driving 17 percent growth in earnings per share. We also returned $11.7 billion to investors during the quarter, bringing cumulative capital returns under our program to almost $223 billion.”

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