Apple shares hit new record after solid quarter and confident outlook

On the eve of Friday’s iPhone X launch tech giant issued bullish outlook sending share price up 3.5%

Revenues for Apple’s fiscal fourth quarter, which included the launch of the iPhone 8 at the end of September, were up 12 per cent to $52.6 billion compared to last year

Revenues for Apple’s fiscal fourth quarter, which included the launch of the iPhone 8 at the end of September, were up 12 per cent to $52.6 billion compared to last year

 

Apple beat iPhone sales forecasts in the September quarter and pointed to a stronger-than-expected end to the year, on the eve of Friday’s iPhone X launch, sending its shares to a new all-time high in after hours trading.

The bullish outlook from the world’s most valuable company points to what is likely to be another all-time record for US company profits in the current December quarter. Apple stock jumped by 3.5 per cent after hours to $174.

In an interview, Apple finance chief Luca Maestri said that Apple is “very happy” with manufacturing supplies of the new iPhone X, which is already starting to go on sale in Australia and some Asian markets.

“Our production is increasing every week,” he said, adding that delivery estimates for people who have pre-ordered the iPhone X might receive their devices sooner than previously expected “because the ramp is going well”.

“Now do we know when the demand curve is going to intersect with the supply curve? Frankly we don’t know.”

iPhone X launch

Revenues for Apple’s fiscal fourth quarter, which included the launch of the iPhone 8 at the end of September, were up 12 per cent to $52.6 billion compared to last year. It sold a total of 46.7 million iPhones in the quarter, up 3 per cent year-on-year and just ahead of Wall Street’s expectations despite concerns that the iPhone 8 had seen lacklustre demand.

Earnings per share rose 24 per cent to $2.08.

With all eyes on the iPhone X launch going into the holiday sales season, Apple looked past reports of production difficulties for the new device to provide a confident outlook, with revenues ranging between $84 billion-$87 billion. That implies growth of as much as 11 per cent, at the top end of the range, compared with last year’s $78.4 billion.

Apple’s services revenue hit a new all-time high of $8.5 billion for the fourth quarter, up 34 per cent, after an overhaul of its App Store in September. Apple also returned to growth in China, where Mr Maestri said the iPhone had gained market share.

– Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017