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Apple’s Q4 Earnings a Mixed Bag, but Q1 Forecast Better Than Expected

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 14:25
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(Before It's News)

Apple logoTech titan Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) after the bell today posted mixed Q4 earnings results and offered an upbeat Q1 forecast, but its shares fell 2% in late trading.

The Cupertino, CA-based company reported fiscal Q4 earnings of $1.67 per share, narrowly edging out Wall Street’s $1.66 per-share estimate. Revenue fell 9% from last year to $46.85 billion, just shy of analysts’ view of $46.98 billion.

As for the all-important iPhone sales, Apple said that Q3 iPhone shipments totaled 45.5 million, slightly higher than the expected 45.2 million, and down from 48.05 million last year.

iPad shipments in the latest period were 9.3 million, in line with estimates, and down from 9.9 million in the year-ago period. Finally, Mac shipments were 4.9 million, missing estimates of 5.2 million and down from 5.7 million in Q4 of 2015.

Looking ahead, AAPL forecast fiscal Q1 sales to range from $76 to $78 billion, which would easily top Wall Street’s view of $75.33 billion. Gross margins are expected to be 38.0-38.5%, lower than analysts’ 39% estimate.

China was a low point in the period for Apple, where sales plunged 30% from the year-ago period. Sales in the Americas fell 7%, while Europe rose 3%. Japanese sales were a big highlight, jumping 10%, while Asia Pacific fell -1%.

The company commented via press release:

“Our strong September quarter results cap a very successful fiscal 2016 for Apple,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re thrilled with the customer response to iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Watch Series 2, as well as the incredible momentum of our Services business, where revenue grew 24 percent to set another all-time record.”

“We are pleased to have generated $16.1 billion in operating cash flow, a new record for the September quarter,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “We also returned $9.3 billion to investors through dividends and share repurchases during the quarter and have now completed over $186 billion of our capital return program.”

Apple shares fell $2.40 (-2.03%) to $115.85 in after-hours trading Tuesday. Prior to today’s report, AAPL had gained 11.9% year-to-date.

AAPL-2016-10-25(2)

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