Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Apple shares rise as tech firm returns $100 billion to shareholders

Apple results to reveal iPhone X problem Apple earnings jump on healthy iPhone sales
| 03 May, 2018, 17:31

"Given our confidence in Apple's future, we are very happy to announce that our Board has approved a new $100 billion share repurchase authorization and a 16 percent increase in our quarterly dividend".

However, a growing number of analysts predict Apple could see a year-on-year drop from the same quarter last year, when it reported iPhone sales of 41m.

Apple bought $23.5 billion of stock in the March quarter, and said it planned to hike its dividend 16 per cent, compared with a 10.5 per cent increase previous year.

The company on Tuesday announced fiscal second-quarter revenues of $61.1bn, beating analyst expectations and representing a 15 per cent year-on-year increase.

Apple Inc lavished cash on its shareholders like no company in history in the first three months of the year and it intends to keep doing so, making the iPhone maker's investors the clearest winners yet from last year's sweeping US corporate tax cuts.

Luca Maestri, the company's CFO, said the business performed "extremely well" during the March quarter, as it grew earnings per share by 30% and generated more than $15bn in operating cash flow.

Shares rose 3.2 per cent to $174.49 in after-hours trading.


Cook was asked if he feels the iPhone market is saturated and not much room is left for growth even as potential exists in emerging markets like India.

Apple is returning another $100bn (£73bn) to shareholders from its huge cash pile as solid iPhone sales helped revenues rise 16% to just over $61bn. Several iPhone suppliers and manufacturers reported disappointing results in recent weeks, sparking concern that Apple's numbers would be weak. The increase in revenue also led to a 25 per cent leap in profits to $13.8bn. But the reaction was muted for most partners given the limited growth in iPhone sales.

Cook added some additional detail about iPhone X sales when asked about the sustainability of the iPhone X's pricey $999 starting price. The latest figures were boosted by growth in all of its geographical segments, most notably in China and Japan, which saw growth of 20 percent.

Apple's decision to share more of its huge cash reserve, now estimated to be $267.2 billion, with shareholders helped to paper over the cracks of an otherwise unexciting set of results.

Apple revealed that services revenue crossed $9 billion for the first time.

Wearables has also jumped 50 per cent due to its wireless bluetooth AirPods and Beats headphones, the Apple Watch, and its digital speaker HomePod. Cook said Apple set a new first-half record in India as well.

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