Why Apple Earnings Aren’t Enough For Investors

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) reported fiscal second-quarter financial results after markets closed Tuesday. Although Apple performed relatively well on both the top- and bottom-lines this was not enough for investors who have grown accustomed to outperformance.

The iPhone giant said that it had $2.10 in earnings per share (EPS) and $52.9 billion in revenue, versus consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that called for $2.02 in EPS and $52.97 billion in revenue. The same period from last year had $1.90 in EPS and $50.56 billion in revenue.

In terms of its products, Apple reported:

  • iPhones: Shipped 50.76 million units with revenues totaling $33.25 billion, compared with 51.19 million units from last year and $32.86 billion in revenue.
  • iPads: Shipped 8.92 million units with revenues of $3.89 billion, versus 10.25 million units and $4.41 billion in revenue.
  • Macs: Sold 4.20 million units with revenues of $5.84 billion in revenue, versus 4.03 million units and $5.11 billion in revenue.
  • Services: Posted $7.04 billion in revenue, up from $5.99 billion year over year.

In terms of guidance for the fiscal-third quarter, the company expects to see revenues in the range of $43.5 billion to $45.5 billion with a gross margin of 37.5% to 38.5%. The consensus estimates are calling for $1.62 in EPS and $45.57 billion in revenue for the coming quarter.

Apple had $12.5 billion in operating cash flow and returned over $10 billion to investors in the March quarter. The board of directors also authorized an increase of $50 billion in the company’s program to return capital to shareholders. Under the expanded program, Apple plans to spend a cumulative total of $300 billion by the end of March 2019.

On the books, cash, cash equivalents, and short-term marketable securities totaled $67.1 billion at the end of the quarter, versus $67.2 billion at the end of the previous fiscal year.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, commented:

We are proud to report a strong March quarter, with revenue growth accelerating from the December quarter and continued robust demand for iPhone 7 Plus. We’ve seen great customer response to both models of the new iPhone 7 (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition and we’re thrilled with the strong momentum of our Services business, with our highest revenue ever for a 13-week quarter. Looking ahead, we are excited to welcome attendees from around the world to our annual Worldwide Developers Conference next month in San Jose.

Shares of Apple closed Tuesday up 0.6% at $147.47, with a consensus analyst price target of $148.96 and a 52-week trading range of $89.47 to $148.09. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was down 1.6% at $145.17 in the after-hours trading session.