Apple reported fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday that slightly exceeded Wall Street expectations, but the company did not offer investors any guidance for the quarter ending in December.
- EPS: 73 cents vs 70 cents expected, according to Refinitiv estimates
- Revenue: $ 64.7 billion vs $ 63.70 billion expected, according to Refinitiv estimates
- iPhone revenue: $ 26.44 billion vs. $ 27.93 billion est.
- Services revenue: $ 14.55 billion vs. $ 14.08 billion est.
- Other Products revenue: $ 7.88 billion vs. $ 7.40 billion est.
- Mac revenue: $ 9.0 billion vs. $ 7.93 billion est.
- iPad revenue: $ 6.8 billion vs. $ 6.12 billion est.
- Gross margin: 38.2% vs. 38.1% est.
The lack of fiscal first-quarter 2021 guidance from Apple means that investors and analysts don’t get a hint at how Apple is projecting the sales performance of the iPhone 12, which went on sale in October.
“If you look at the case count, the case counts are climbing in Western Europe. They’re climbing in the United States. And so there’s still a sufficient level of uncertainty out there…we don’t believe that’s an environment to guide into,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC’s Josh Lipton.
Apple hasn’t offered guidance for the past two quarters because of uncertainty related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, Cook said that he was optimistic about iPhone 12 sales for a number of reasons, including 5G support, carrier promotions, and a loyal install base, and said that “initial data points are really quite good.”
iPhone revenue was down over 16% from the same quarter last year and came up short against Wall street expectations. However, many investors and analysts are more focused on how the iPhone 12 will sell in the coming year. Apple’s iPhones went on sale this year in October, and more models are planned for next month, meaning that sales from the new devices aren’t counted in this quarter.
Revenue for Macs and iPads both exceeded analyst expectations, most likely driven by strong work-from-home trends during the pandemic. Apple drew attention to strong results in those categories last quarter, too. Overall, Mac revenue was up 29% year-over-year and iPad revenue rose 46% from the same quarter last year.
Apple released new Apple Watch Series 6 models that went on sale in September. The category that those devices are counted in for sales is called Wearables, Home, and Accessories, which came in slightly higher than expectations. The category also includes sales from headphones such as AirPods and Beats. Sales for the category were up over 20% on a year-over-year basis.
Investors are always closely examining Apple’s services business, which includes subscriptions like iCloud and Apple Music, fees from the App Store paid by app developers, and licensing revenue. Services revenue exceeded Wall Street expectations and grew 16% over last year.
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