Apple shares soar in after-hours trade as earnings beat expectations

Wednesday, 01 Aug, 2018

Overall, Apple reported higher growth in revenue for the 17th straight quarter with sales hitting $53.27 billion. That means that globally, Apple was the third largest smartphone manufacturer during the quarter, with Samsung remaining on top. It rose 31 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago, putting it at $9.54 billion. Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri told Reuters that the high selling prices were driven by sales of the company's costlier recent models, including the US$999 iPhone X. Maestri said the iPhone X was the quarter's most popular model.

The company said it expects fiscal fourth quarter revenue to be between $60bn and $62bn, against analyst estimates of $59.5bn.

Shares of the company are up 13.44% since the beginning of 2018. That's raised Wall Street expectations for more sales and profit. Yet that strategy has its pitfalls.

Apple historically has kept its prices steady, and kept its new premium phones at a premium price. At almost $10 billion (let's just round for convenience), Services is making up almost 20% of Apple's $53.3 billion in total revenue.

As the entry-level iPhone, the 6.1-inch device is expected to have an LCD screen and a lower price tag.

Finally, while Cook expressed opposition to new trade tariffs between the United States and China, noting how they're anti-consumer, he said that Apple is continuing to see double digit growth in China along with other major markets. Maestri added: "Growth was strong all around the world". This segment includes Apple Music, App Store sales as well as Apple Care and iCloud subscriptions. Finally, Apple's Services revenue of $9.5 billion was good for a 31% increase year-on-year. The company doesn't report sales figures for the Watch.

"All of this said, we are optimistic that this will get sorted out".

Apple has managed to shine, despite bruises to its image that included being accused of keeping young people addicted to smartphones, slowing performance of older iPhones to motivate upgrades and sidestepping taxes by nestling cash in offshore havens. Even when it comes to hardware, Munster said, the numbers prove Apple's strategy is working.

Apple's biggest selling products do not yet face duties stemming from the U.S.

Analysts cautioned that it's not yet clear how trade conflicts will affect the smartphone companies.

"Apple Music grew by over 50 percent on a year-over-year basis", Cook said during Tuesday's earnings call, where he also called out that more than 300 million users now subscribe to apps with subscription tiers available on the App Store.