April 13, 2024
Apple earnings show surprise jump in iPhone sales and a 4% dividend hike

Apple earnings show surprise jump in iPhone sales and a 4% dividend hike

Apple Inc. on Thursday revealed surprise growth in its iPhone business during the first three months of the year, overcoming a shortfall in Mac revenue as the company promised investors billions more in dividends and stock repurchases.

Apple shares AAPL, -0.99% were up nearly 2% in extended trading after the earnings call.

The company reported fiscal second-quarter revenue of $94.8 billion, down from $97.3 billion a year before, while analysts had been expecting $92.9 billion. Revenue for the iPhone category rose to $51.3 billion from $50.6 billion, with analysts surveyed by FactSet expecting a decline to $48.7 billion.

Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said on the earnings call that the iPhone growth was driven by “strong performance in emerging markets from South Asia and India to Latin America and the Middle East.”

The company recently opened its first two Apple stores in India, and Chief Executive Tim Cook noted opportunity in India.

“What I do see in India is a lot of people entering the middle class, and I’m hopeful that we can convince some number of them to buy an iPhone,” he said.

Apple logged net income of $24.2 billion, or $1.52 a share, compared with $25 billion, or $1.52 a share, in the year-prior quarter. Analysts were modeling $1.43 a share in earnings on average, according to FactSet.

Apple’s results arrived amid concern about the state of consumer-electronics spending, given worrisome third-party data points and cautious signals from players like Qualcomm Inc. QCOM, -5.54% and DuPont de Nemours Inc. DD, -0.53%.

See also: Qualcomm stock falls as backed up Apple iPhone inventory contributes to weak outlook

The company saw steep revenue declines in both the iPad and Mac categories. Sales of iPads fell to $6.7 billion from $7.6 billion a year ago and matched the FactSet consensus. Mac revenue sank to $7.2 billion from $10.4 billion, while analysts were looking for $7.8 billion.

The Mac segment was up against tough comparisons to a year-ago period that saw the “incredibly successful rollout of our M1 chips,” Cook noted. It’s “facing some macroeconomic and foreign exchange headwinds as well.”

Apple’s wearables, home and accessories category was essentially flat, with sales of $8.8 billion. The FactSet consensus called for $8.4 billion. The services segment showed growth, with revenue up to $20.9 billion from $19.8 billion, roughly in line with the FactSet consensus of $21.0 billion.

Maestri noted that “certain services offerings, such as digital advertising and mobile gaming, continue to be affected by the current macroeconomic environment,” though advertising, Apple Care and video set revenue records for the March quarter.

Executives shared some very big-picture views on recent financial-services initiatives, though without any financial specifics. Apple’s recently launched savings account, which has a 4.15% yield, has had an “incredible” initial response, while Apple Pay Later, a buy-now-pay-later product, has received “really good” feedback as well, they said.

Read: Apple Card savings account has an attractive 4.15% interest rate, but beware of these pitfalls before signing

Apple also announced Thursday that it was boosting its buyback program by $90 billion while upping its quarterly dividend by 4% to 24 cents a share. That compares to a $90 billion increase to the share-repurchase authorization and 5% dividend hike a year ago.

While Apple stopped giving traditional guidance at the start of the pandemic, Maestri said on the call that he expects June-quarter revenue growth to be similar to what was seen in the March quarter on a year-over-year basis, assuming a stable macroeconomic climate.

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