Shares sold short in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) rose 1.3 million to 56 million in the most recent settlement period. The very modest increase happened as Apple’s share price was mostly rising, and over a week before earnings. Apple’s shares moved 2% lower after it announced a quarter in which revenue fell from the same period a year ago, and it posted its first year of down revenue since 2011.
In the past three months, Apple’s shares have risen 22% to $118, and several analysts believe it will go much higher. Earnings helped the case somewhat, as they beat expectations:
Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2016 fourth quarter ended September 24, 2016. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $46.9 billion and quarterly net income of $9 billion, or $1.67 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $51.5 billion and net income of $11.1 billion, or $1.96 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 38 percent compared to 39.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 62 percent of the quarter’s revenue.
Apple is providing the following guidance for its fiscal 2017 first quarter:
- revenue between $76 billion and $78 billion
- gross margin between 38 percent and 38.5 percent
- operating expenses between $6.9 billion and $7 billion
- other income/(expense) of $400 million
- tax rate of 26 percent
More good news should come with the holidays, as the iPhone 7 is expected to sell briskly and to be helped by the disaster of the competing Samsung Galaxy Note 7. On the other hand, Apple disclosed that demand for the iPhone 7 Plus was so high that Apple may be unable to keep up with orders.