Date
25 May 2018
Sales of the iPhone X helped drive smartphone revenue to a record US$61.58 billion for the quarter, up 13 percent from a year earlier. Photo: AFP
Sales of the iPhone X helped drive smartphone revenue to a record US$61.58 billion for the quarter, up 13 percent from a year earlier. Photo: AFP

Apple posts record quarterly sales but offers muted forecast

Apple Inc. reported record quarterly revenue and profit, thanks to its move to raise prices on its flagship iPhone, but forecast weaker-than-expected sales for the current quarter.

The results add to doubts about the sustainability of demand for the technology giant’s most important product, which accounts for more than two-thirds of total sales, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Apple said revenue rose 13 percent to US$88.29 billion in the three months to Dec. 30, while profit rose 12 percent to US$20.07 billion.

Sales of the iPhone X helped drive smartphone revenue to a record US$61.58 billion for the quarter, up 13 percent from a year earlier, Apple said on Thursday. The model was released in November at a starting price of US$1,000.

However, the number of iPhones sold actually fell 1 percent to 77.3 million, the company said. 

Apple also reported increased revenue from iPads and its services business, including App Store as well as music and payment services.

Sales of its smartwatch and AirPods wireless earbuds during the Christmastime shopping season were also strong.

Apple projected revenue for the current quarter to be between US$60 billion and US$62 billion, up from a year earlier but well below analysts’ recent consensus estimate of US$66.54 billion, the Journal said.

Analysts have actually already lowered estimates on concerns about demand for the iPhone X and uncertainty around the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus models launched in September, according to the newspaper.

The company’s disclosure that it plans to draw down at least US$163 billion in net cash, potentially returning the cash to shareholders, helped boost shares 3.3 percent to US$173.48 in after-the-bell trading, Reuters said.

“Over time, we are trying to target a capital structure that is approximately net neutral. We will have approximately the same level of cash and debt on the balance sheet,” Apple’s chief financial officer, Luca Maestri, told the news agency in an interview.

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RC/CG

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