Enduring 3 straight quarters of declining iPhone sales, Apple has posted quarterly revenues of $46.9 billion and quarterly net income of $9 billion — down nearly 9 percent from revenue of $51.5 billion and net income of $11.1 billion in the corresponding quarter last year.
The numbers signal a decisive change in direction for profits at the storied maker, with rival Samsung’s travails possibly offering the best hope for a bounce back in the traditionally strong Christmas quarter, where the newly launched Iphone7 and variants, besides a new range of Mac computers will lead the charge.
The results might also signal a lingering weakness in its ‘home’ market, even as international sales accounted for 62% of total sales.
Announcing the results for the fourth quarter of 2016 on Tuesday night, Apple said it sold 45.5 million iPhones, 9.3 million iPads and 4.9 million Macs in the fourth quarter – a year-over- year decline of 5.2 per cent for iPhones, 6 percent for iPads and a massive 14 per cent for the Mac. “Our strong September quarter results cap a very successful fiscal 2016 for Apple,” said Apple’s CEO Tim Cook.
In after-hour trading, Apple shares were down 2.8 percent to $114.99. Cook pointed to the 24 percent increase in revenues at the services business, where China for instance recently overtook the US in the Apple Store sales, as a clear reason for optimism.
For the fiscal 2017 first quarter, Apple forecast revenue between $76 billion and $78 billion . “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 programme,” Maestri added. Yet another sign that the company’s newly acquired tilt to risk avoidance is still strong.
The fall in sales was mostly down to declining sales of the iPhone but the newly launched iPhone 7 and 7 Plus may tilt the figures in favour of Apple in the near future. Apple is set to unveil new Mac computers on October 27.