Apple quarterly profit leaps but shares slip on outlook

Apple Q4 2018 Results: $62.9 Billion Revenue, 46.9 Million iPhones, 9.7 Million iPads Sold

Apple Reports Fourth Quarter Results

If you're wondering "Why fourth quarter?", it's because the fiscal 2018 ends three months earlier than the calendar 2018. Analysts, who like to be spoon-fed as much information as possible, interpreted this change to mean Apple foresees declining unit growth of iPhones. But the average selling price of iPhones was $793, well above analyst estimates of $750.78, according to FactSet.

Looking to the future, Apple expects its first quarter of the new year to bring a revenue between $89 billion and $93 billion, as well as a gross margin falling between 38-percent and 38.5-percent.

Interestingly, Apple sold almost the same number of iPhone units in the final quarter of the year 2018 as it did during the same time last year, yet its revenue grew from $28,846 million in Q4 2017 to $37,185 million in Q4 2018 owing to the rise in price of its smartphones, particularly iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. The company will instead focus on the revenue generated. For the quarter gone by, Apple posted revenue of $62.9 billion and an EPS of $2.91, both staggering figures.

Revenue for the period climbed 20 percent from previous year to $62.9 billion. Global sales accounted for 61% of the quarters' revenue.

Although there may be some logic to the rationale for the long term, "this is going to be a hard pill to swallow in the short term", Ives said.

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Apple's "privacy commitment now extends to iPhone unit disclosure", Amit Daryanani of RBC Capital Markets wrote in a note to investors. Since the beginning of 2016, the sales of iPhone has remained stagnated.

The era of rapid iPhone growth ended years ago.

But even the success of subscription services ultimately depend on getting customers to keep flocking to the Apple devices that support these services, with the iPhone chief among them.

The contribution of iPhone to the worldwide smartphone shipments has been constantly declining as well. So, back to the results, how did Apple do during the last few months?

For any company like Apple, this is a severe challenge to address. It fluctuates frequently, so act fast if this offer interests you. "The install base of Android has grown vastly; the new customer base (for Apple) is not coming", Shah was quoted as saying in the report.

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Then again, Apple has never been the most transparent when it came to device sales anyway. On Friday, the elimination of unit-sales data contributed to shares falling 6.6% as the company shed $71.19 billion in market value in a single day.

This new murky sales picture for Apple's largest revenue segment lead CFO Luca Maestri to announce a new change to the company's reporting policy.

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Citi analyst Jim Suva said, "It sounds like you're still going to give revenue data if I heard that correctly".

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