More nervousness from Asian markets today with the Nikkei slumping almost -1%. Japanese tech shares slumped with Casio Computer and Konica Minolta down -7.8% and -7.0% while from Seoul there was on-going earnings jitters: Samsung – it announced on Wednesday it was splitting its stock 50-1 in an effort to expand its shareholder base – shares sank -2.1% as news of Apple’s slower iPhone sales seeped in.
However Apple shares rose overnight despite the iPhone sales drop in the last quarter (the anxiety around iPhone sales has drifted about for some time). Some of the share jump was down to the monster $20bn quarterly profits thanks to robust European and Japanese sales helped by a +13% climb in year-on-year sales. Crucially, Apple boss Tim Cook said iPhone X sales did well (more below) in the last quarter.
Elsewhere Amazon sales have leapt +30% helped by strong Christmas revenues and on-going demand for its cloud services. Fourth quarter profits doubled to $1.9bn. Amazon shares surged +6% in after-hours trading last night.
Overnight the pound was down -0.04% at 1.4261. The pressure on Theresa May remains immense with huge Cabinet disagreement over the direction and tone of Brexit negotiations. A report in the FT claims the EU is looking at special UK sanctions to counteract any trade undercutting of its future trade competitor.
Later on today, new US labour department employment numbers land. The non-farm pay-rolls are expected to be up on December.
- UK FTSE 100 7,490.39 -0.57%
- DAX 13,003.90 -1.41%
- CAC 40 5,449.86 -0.59%
- Euro Stoxx 393.49 -0.50%
- Dow 26,186.71 +0.14%
- S&P 500 2,821.98 -0.06%
- Nasdaq 7,385.86 -0.35%
- Nikkei 225 23,274.53 -0.90%
- Gold 1,350.80 +0.22%
- Oil WTI 66.12 +0.49%
Apple breaks profits record but sales slip
Apple’s record $20bn quarterly profit numbers released last night put to rest some nervousness about iPhone X sales. While Apple sold fewer iPhones overall – down -1% – the profit made on each phone is up; the iPhone X is a best-seller claims Cook.
“iPhone X surpassed our expectations and has been our top-selling iPhone every week since it shipped in November,” Cook said. “We’ve also achieved a significant milestone with our active installed base of devices reaching 1.3bn in January.”
However the longer term picture is a touch more ambivalent with some worry about sustaining those sales volumes. "Because of the higher prices, it will be a challenge to keep those volumes going," Jeff Fieldhack, research director at technology consultancy Counterpoint told the BBC.
BT Q3 revenues down
This morning BT announced a -3% drop in third quarter revenues falling to £5,970m with underlying revenues slipping -1.5%. BT claims there is no change to the full year outlook.
Average BT Sport viewing increased +23% year on year – the best quarterly performance since launch BT says. The quarter financial results are broadly in line with expectations said chief exec Gavin Patterson. “We continue to improve our customer experience metrics across the Group, with our sixth successive quarter of improved customer perception.”
Breaking news: Ryanair passenger numbers were +6% up in January to 9.3m.