Another record-breaking quarter for Apple was marred slightly as iPhone sales dipped, but that didn't appear to be deterring investors as shares in the world's largest company by market cap rose in pre-market trade.
Results in the October-December period achieved new records in revenues and profits - despite the quarter being a week shorter than in the previous year.
While unit sales of 77.3 million iPhones in the quarter failed to match Wall Street estimates - the higher selling price of the recently-launched iPhone X resulted in record revenue of $88.3bn - up 13% on the year-ago period - and earnings per share of $3.89 - up 16% and also a record.
Current quarter outlook
There were initial concerns about the outlook for the current quarter - its fiscal second - with estimated revenue between $60bn-$62bn, which failed to match expectations of around $68bn.
The shortfall was explained by financial officer Luca Maestri as being due to a stock overhang from the Christmas quarter, but that the second quarter would see an acceleration in sales.
Investors appeared to give the biggest welcome to the announcement that Apple intended to reduce its $285bn cash balance to "approximately zero" to make use of the new tax law that would enable the company to repatriate profits from overseas at a lower rate.
Shareholders took this announcement to mean that they could receive higher future dividends and other cash returns.
Tim Cook comment
We’re thrilled to report the biggest quarter in Apple’s history, with broad-based growth that included the highest revenue ever from a new iPhone line-up," said Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive (left).
"iPhone X surpassed our expectations and has been our top-selling iPhone every week since it shipped in November.
“We’ve also achieved a significant milestone with our active installed base of devices reaching 1.3 billion in January. That’s an increase of 30 percent in just two years, which is a testament to the popularity of our products and the loyalty and satisfaction of our customers.”
Shares in Apple were up 3.2% to $167.78 in pre-market trade in New York.
Picture: Wikimedia Commons