Apple (AAPL) earnings report Q1 2024

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Apple reported fiscal first-quarter earnings on Thursday that beat estimates for revenue and earnings, but Apple showed a 13% decline in sales in China, one of its most important markets. 

Apple shares fell over 1% in extended trading.

Here’s how Apple did, versus LSEG (formerly known as Refinitiv) consensus expectations for the quarter ending Dec. 30: 

  • EPS: $2.18 vs. $2.10 estimated 
  • Revenue: $119.58 billion vs. $117.91 billion estimated 

 Here’s how Apple’s product lines did versus LSEG expectations:  

  • iPhone revenue: $69.70 billion vs. $67.82 billion estimated 
  • Mac revenue: $7.78 billion vs. $7.73 billion estimated 
  • iPad revenue: $7.02 billion vs. $7.33 billion estimated 
  • Other Products revenue: $11.95 billion vs. $11.56 billion estimated 
  • Services revenue: $23.12 billion vs. $23.35 billion estimated 
  • Gross margin: 45.9% vs. 45.3% estimated 

Apple did not provide guidance for the current quarter ending in June. Management often provides a few data points during the call with analysts that suggest how the company sees the current quarter shaking out.  

Apple reported 2% sales growth in the December quarter, breaking a streak of four straight quarters with annual revenue declines. Apple’s gross margin continues to rise, nearly breaking 46% in the December quarter. Apple reported $33.92 billion in net income during the quarter, up 13% from the same period last year. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC’s Steve Kovach that some of the company’s growth rates actually represent a “huge acceleration” from last quarter, because this year’s December quarter has one fewer week than last year’s first fiscal quarter due to the way Apple’s corporate calendar works.  

“It’s important to keep in mind that last year, we had 14 weeks in the quarter. This year we had 13,” Cook said.  

IPhone sales beat Street expectations and grew nearly 6% to $69.70 billion, a positive sign for the iPhone 15 models released in September. This is Apple’s first full quarter with iPhone 15 revenue.  

Apple’s profitable services business rose 11% during the quarter to $23.11 billion in revenue, but it still came slightly short of estimates. Investors closely watch the growth of Apple’s services business, which includes subscriptions like Apple Music, warranties, search licensing revenue, and payments from Apple Pay and Apple’s advertisements.  

Apple said it had 2.2 billion active devices in use, a metric that many analysts say informs how they forecast Apple’s services growth. That’s up from 2 billion active devices at the same time last year.  

Cook attributed services growth to products including advertising, cloud services, payments, and the company’s App Store. He said that Apple claims over 1 billion paid subscriptions, which also includes subscriptions to apps through the App Store.  

Apple showed sales growth in all regions except for Greater China, which fell nearly 13% from the same time last year, potentially stoking fears of receding demand for Apple in its third largest market. It has faced increased competition from local firms like Huawei. Greater China includes the mainland in addition to Hong Kong and Taiwan.  

Cook told CNBC’s Kovach that iPhone sales in the region was what “everyone seemed to be focused on.” 

“If you look at the 13 and then you do a double click to look at Mainland China and look at constant currency, the dollar is very strong versus the RMB,” Cook said. “And so that -13 goes to a mid-single digit number. And so that’s how we did on the phone last quarter. The good news is that we’re four out of the top six top selling smartphones in urban China.” 

Mac sales grew under 1% during the quarter to $7.7 billion, in line with estimates. It’s a significant recovery for the product line, which fell nearly 34% on an annual basis in the September quarter.  

IPad sales continue to slump, falling 25% during the quarter to $7.02 billion and slightly short of Street estimates. Apple didn’t release a new iPad model in 2023 for the first time in the product’s history.  

Cook said that iPad performance “wasn’t a surprise to us.”  

“The iPad faced a very difficult comp, if you recall, in the year-ago quarter where we launched iPad Pro and iPad 10th generation,” Cook said.  

The company’s wearables business, sometimes called “other products,” includes AirPods headphones and the Apple Watch. It also had a rough quarter, declining 11% on a year-over-year basis to $11.95 billion in sales, although it topped Street estimates. The newest Apple Watches were removed from Apple stores in December for a few days over a patent dispute with medical device company Masimo. 

Apple said it spent nearly $27 billion on dividends and share repurchases during the quarter. 

  



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