Tuesday 20 February 2018

Revenues at Apple rise to $57.6bn despite missing sales estimates for iPhones

Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook
Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook

Katherine Rushton

Apple has announced profits of $13.1bn at its first-quarter results.

The update for September to December marks a 1.7pc increase on the same period in 2012 and a dramatic improvement on the previous quarter, when profits declined 9pc. Revenues rose to $57.6bn.

The tech giant sold a record 51m iPhones in the three-month period, missing analyst estimates of 54.7m. It sold a record 26m iPads versus 25m expected, 6m iPods versus 8m expected, and 4.8m Macs versus 4.6m expected.

The shares fell 8.2pc in after-hours trading to $505.5.

"We are really happy with our record iPhone and iPad sales, the strong performance of our Mac products and the continued growth of iTunes, software and services," said Tim Cook, Apple chief executive.

"We love having the most satisfied, loyal and engaged customers, and are continuing to invest heavily in our future to make their experiences with our products and services even better."

Apple also increased its cash pile to $159bn. The company is facing unprecedented pressure to return some of this to shareholders, after a relentless campaign by billionaire investor Carl Icahn to force Apple to buy back shares.

Mr Cook will be called on to explain his plans for the company’s cash surplus, as it delivers another increase in profits and sales.

In a seven-page letter, he told investors that it was “ridiculous” for Apple to horde its cash rather than repurchase stock.

“[This is] one of the greatest examples of a ‘no brainer’ we have seen in five decades of successful investing,” he said.

Mr Icahn added that he would invest more of his money in Apple than any other company, even if it had no plans to introduce new products. However, he predicted a massive boost for the company if it delivers wearable technology or Apple televisions as expected.

“Tim Cook [Apple’s chief executive] keeps saying that he expects to introduce ‘new products in new categories’ and yet very few people seem to be listening,” he said.

He has filed a proxy motion to be voted on at the company’s annual general meeting at the end of next month.

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