Apple delighted investors overnight on Tuesday, posting strong first quarter results, driven mainly by record iPhone sales, but helped along, too, by demand for its Mac line-up of computers and high activity by consumers in the App Store.
In after-hours trading in New York on Tuesday night, Apple’s share price was trading up by 5,7% at US$115,40/share, not far off the company’s all-time record high of $119,75 set at the end of November.
Demand for the iPhone 6 and the larger iPhone 6 Plus underpinned the strong performance. iPhone unit sales over the three-month period were a record 74,5m. Apple CEO Tim Cook described the demand for the new iPhone models as “staggering”.
The headline numbers far surpassed the consensus forecasts of analysts prior to their release.
Less positive were the numbers for the iPad, where sales fell by 18% year on year.
Quarterly revenue grew by 30% year on year to $74,6bn, while net profit was $18bn, up 37,5% from $13,1bn a year ago. According to reports, that is the highest quarterly net profit ever recorded by a public company, eclipsing the $16bn made by Russia’s GazProm in one quarter in 2011 and ExxonMobil’s $15,9bn in 2012.
Gross margin expanded strongly to 39,9% from 37,9% in the first quarter in 2014.
Operating cash flow in the quarter was $33,7bn. In the past 12 months, Apple has returned $57bn to shareholders through its capital return programme.
With the Apple Watch set to debut soon — probably in April — Apple will be hoping the new product can help it maintain the strong forward momentum. It said it expects revenue of between $52bn and $55bn in the current quarter, before the smartwatch goes on sale.
Apple declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0,47/share. — © 2015 NewsCentral Media