Apple Inc reported revenue and profit that exceeded Wall Street expectations, one of the few bright spots in a tech sector battered by inflationary spending cuts.
The outlook for the holiday season was more bleak. While not providing specific figures, Apple stated that revenue growth would be less than 8% in the December quarter, but did not go as far as Amazon.com, whose dismal holiday forecast sent its stock down 14%.
Apple shares initially fell in after-hours trading but recovered to close in the black.
While its star, the iPhone, stumbled, the Cupertino, California-based tech giant was saved by its oldest technology, laptop computers.
Despite not being as strong as some analysts had predicted, iPhone sales were still a record for the September quarter. Mac sales of $11.5 billion exceeded analyst expectations of $9.36 billion.
Apple’s results demonstrated some resilience in the face of a weak economy and a strong US dollar, both of which have resulted in disastrous reports from many technology companies. Apple, like Facebook parent Meta and Snap, is seeing a decline in advertising spending. According to Refinitiv data, Apple’s quarterly revenue increased 8% to $90.1 billion, exceeding estimates of $88.9 billion, and net profit was $1.29 per share, exceeding the average analyst estimate of $1.27 per share.
“We did better than we anticipated, in spite of the fact that foreign exchange was a significant negative for us,” said Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri.
The rising value of the US dollar has harmed many companies, including Apple, which generates significant foreign revenue and receives less cash when it is converted. It raises the price of new devices purchased in countries other than the United States for consumers.
According to Refinitiv IBES, Apple’s iPhone sales for the fiscal fourth quarter increased to $42.6 billion, exceeding Wall Street’s expectation of $43.21 billion.
According to Maestri, iPhone sales set a new high for the September quarter, increasing 10% over the previous quarter and exceeding the company’s forecast.
“The iPhone number is a hint of the turmoil and uncertainty in the market, but Apple has different ways to offset,” said Runar Bjorhovde, a research analyst at market research firm Canalys.
Apple’s Mac computer sales were boosted this summer by the release of redesigned MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops. This week saw the release of new tablets.
Apple’s gross margin of 43.3% was a record for the September quarter, according to the company.
According to Maestri, the strong computer sales reflected a backlog of orders caused by a prolonged shutdown at one of the factories that manufactures Macs, which Apple was able to fill in the quarter.
The company reported iPad sales of $7.2 billion, compared to an average estimate of $7.94 billion.
Apple wearables such as AirPods and other accessories sold for $9.7 billion, slightly more than the $9.2 billion predicted by Wall Street.
“They said they didn’t have particular issue with supply, so that seems to be a thing of the past,” said Creative Strategies consumer analyst Carolina Milanesi.
The company’s services business, which has boosted sales and profits in recent years, increased revenue to $19.2 billion, falling short of the estimate of $20.10 billion.
Maestri stated that Apple, like others in the sector, has seen softness in digital advertising and gaming.
“Like other major tech companies, even Apple is suffering from the negative impact of a worsening macro backdrop and ongoing supply chain woes, though it has done a better job of navigating through the challenging environment,” Jesse Cohen, senior analyst at Investing.com.
Apple reported fourth-quarter sales of $15.5 billion in China, despite the country’s sharp economic slowdown. This represents an increase over the previous quarter’s sales of $14.6 billion.
Apple announced that it now has 900 million paying subscribers to its services, up from 860 million in the previous quarter.
(Adapted from USNews.com)