Home World Business Apple misses on iPhone sales, and third quarter sales forecast

Apple misses on iPhone sales, and third quarter sales forecast

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Apple reported a surprise fall in iPhone sales for the second quarter, indicating that customers had held back purchases in anticipation of the 10th-anniversary edition launch of the company’s most important product.

Shares of the world’s most valuable listed company were down 1.2 per cent at $US145.78 in after-hours trading. Earlier they’d touched a record high $US148.01, briefly lifting its maket valuation to more than $US775 billion.

Apple sold 50.76 million iPhones in its fiscal second quarter ended April 1, down from 51.19 million a year earlier. ... Apple sold 50.76 million iPhones in its fiscal second quarter ended April 1, down from 51.19 million a year earlier. Analysts on average had estimated iPhone sales of 52.27 million. Photo: George Frey

The company boosted its capital return program by $US50 billion, increasing its share repurchase authorisation by $US35 billion and raising its quarterly dividend by 10.5 per cent. It has declared a dividend of US63¢ per share of the company’s common stock, payable on May 18, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 15.

Apple sold 50.76 million iPhones in its fiscal second quarter ended April 1, down from 51.19 million a year earlier.

Analysts on average had estimated iPhone sales of 52.27 million, according to financial data and analytics firm FactSet.

Expectations are building ahead of Apple’s 10th-anniversary iPhone range this fall, with investors hoping that the launch would help bolster sales.

Apple typically launches its new iPhones in September.

A big jump in sales usually follows in the holiday quarter, before demand tapers over the next few quarters as customers hold back ahead of the next launch.

Apple’s 10th-anniversary iPhone range might sport features such as wireless charging, 3-D facial recognition and a curved display.

The company forecast total revenue of between $US43.5 billion and $US45.5 billion for the current quarter, while analysts on average were expecting $US45.60 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Analysts on average expect the company to sell 42.31 million iPhones in the current quarter, according to FactSet.

The company’s net income rose to $US11.03 billion, or $US2.10 per share, in the second quarter, from $US10.52 billion, or $US1.90 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected $US2.02 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 4.6 per cent to $US52.90 billion in the quarter, compared with analysts’ average estimate of $US53.02 billion.

A 17.5 per cent jump in the company’s services business – which includes the App Store, Apple Pay and iCloud – to $US7.04 billion boosted revenue.

It had $US265.8 billion worth of cash and cash equivalents, short-term marketable securities and long-term marketable securities as of April 1, it said in a statement.

From the inception of its capital return program in August 2012 through March 2017, Apple has returned over $US211 billion to shareholders, including $US151 billion in share repurchases.

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