Apple sees holiday-quarter sales above Wall St, shares rise

03 November, 2017, 00:53 | Author: Patty Aguilar
  • Huge crowds gather outside Apple store in Orchard Road ahead of iPhone X launch

The Mac "had its best year ever" in fiscal 2017 in terms of revenue, and fiscal Q4 also marked the strongest September quarter ever for Mac sales, Apple CEO Tim Cook said during the quarterly earnings call on Thursday.

Investors are keen to gauge Chinese demand for the iPhone X, as it is key to reviving Apple's fortunes in the world's biggest smartphone market where it has lost some of its sparkle - and market share - as local phone makers have advanced. All told, Apple earned $10.7 billion on revenue of $52.6 billion, compared with a $9 billion profit on revenue of $46.9 billion a year earlier.

Consensus estimates from Zacks' showed analysts expected earnings of $1.87 per share and revenues of $51.17 billion.

With this fall's blockbuster launch of three new iPhones, including the dramatically redesigned iPhone X, most Apple-related attention is on the company's smartphone line.

But this year, Apple shifted its sales strategy to introduce two new slightly improved models, the 8 and 8 Plus, and a third phone, the X. iPhone 8's went on sale September 22, but Apple held back the big guns for November 3, when the state-of-the art, $999 X hits store shelves.

Apple also forecast a gross profit margin of 38% to 38.5% for the holiday quarter. Proceeds that some other products - including the Apple Watch, Apple TV and Beats products, also rose 36% to $3.2 billion. That's higher than it expected during the same period previous year, $76 billion and $78 billion, and slightly above analyst expectations. If the stock nears that level on Friday, the company will reach a market value of $900 billion. Cook said orders of iPhone X "have already been very strong". This is a step Cupertino is unwilling to take, having learned valuable lessons from the iPhone X supply issues. The 8 went on sale at the very end of the most recent quarter.

"The ramp for iPhone X is going well", said Cook.

Wang Hao, a 24-year-old engineer in the northeastern port city of Dalian, said he ordered the new phone despite the high price tag.

"I'm definitely interested, but don't now plan to get one", said Gu, whose monthly salary of a little over 6,000 yuan ($905.36) is less than the anniversary model's starting price in China of 8,388 yuan. That represented 25 percent growth from the same period a year earlier when sales were $5.74 billion.

Each year Apple's sales quarters generally follow a pattern - or have over the past 6 years or so.



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