Apple Powers Up On Holiday IPhone Sales, Beating Wall Street’s Quarterly Forecasts

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Apple roared past Wall Street estimates for the holiday 2020 quarter, riding sales of new iPhones to total revenue of $111.4 billion, up 21% from the same period in 2019.

Earnings per share in the fiscal first quarter, which ended December 26, came in at $1.68, up 35% from the year-ago frame. International sales accounted for 64% of the total.

Wall Street analysts had expected revenue of $103.3 billion and earnings of $1.41. It was the first quarter when Apple has recorded $100 billion in revenue.

Sales from the core iPhone line, which was refreshed with a new set of devices last fall, totaled $65.6 billion, far better than the $59.8 billion expected by analysts.

Already a trillion-dollar company, Apple has continued its share price momentum in 2021, rising more than 8% to all-time highs. It closed today down a fraction at $142.06 and remained near break-even after hours.

The coronavirus pandemic has boosted Apple, as with other tech companies whose wares have become increasingly essential for work, education and other activities happening remotely.

The company’s Services division has been posting gains and meriting more of the focus of management, which has sought to lessen dependence on the costly and logistically complex process of making hardware. Services like iCloud, iTunes, Apple News and Apple TV+ have been bundled recently, with the company rolling out a range of packages under the name Apple One. In the quarter, though, the kinds of potent hardware sales that vaulted the company into a globally dominant position years ago delivered the most meaningful results.

In the earnings release, CEO Tim Cook called the holiday season “historic” and said Apple is committed to exploring “how we can help the communities we’re a part of build back strongly and equitably.” ,

CFO Luca Maestri said the holiday quarter benefited from double-digit growth in each product category and reached an all-time high for its installed base of active devices, said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. Total devices stand at 1.65 billion, 1 billion of which are iPhones.
He also noted operating cash flow of $38.8 billion, a new record, and said the company remains on track to reach a net cash-neutral position “over time.”

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