Apple topped Wall Street’s expectations for its first quarter financial performance released Thursday afternoon, thanks to its strongest ever sales in its services unit encompassing its iCloud, App Store and credit card business, though pricier loans dragged on its bottom line.
Apple notched $94.8 billion in sales and $1.52 in adjusted earnings per share for the three-month period ending April, smashing consensus analyst estimates of $92.9 billion and $1.43, respectively, according to FactSet.
It was the company’s best-ever quarter for its services business and its best spring quarter for iPhone sales, Apple’s billionaire CEO Tim Cook said in a statement accompanying the release, raking in $20.9 billion in service revenue and $51.3 billion in iPhone sales.
The technology behemoth reported a toughly 20% decline in iPhone revenues from the prior quarter but a 2% bump year-over-year, though the dip was less than analysts expected in the quarter following the release of the iPhone 14.
Higher costs weighed on Apple’s bottom line: The company reported $1.9 billion in interest payments over the last six months, a more than 30% increase from the same period last year as the Federal Reserve continues to hike interest rates.
Apple’s stock climbed 2% in after-hours trading.
After rallying more than 300% between March 2020 and its late 2021 peak, shares of Apple crashed back to earth in 2022, shedding 27%, headlining a broader slump among tech stocks thought to be more sensitive to a higher interest rate environment. Though the company missed expectations on the top and bottom line in its February earnings report, Apple shares have roared back, rallying 32% year-to-date. Apple remains by far the most valuable company in the world with its $2.65 trillion market cap.
About $555 billion. That’s how much market capitalization Apple has gained year-to-date.That exceeds the total market value of both Tesla and LVMH, the world’s ninth and 10th largest companies.
Last month, Apple further solidified its foray into the finance space, unveiling a high-yield savings account offering via Goldman Sachs, paying out a 4.15% yield to customers. The venture netted roughly $400 million in deposits on its April 17 launch date and up to $990 million over the account’s first four days of existence, sources told Forbes.
What To Watch For
In a Monday note to clients previewing earnings, Bank of America analysts Wamsi Mohan and Ruplu Bhattacharya said their top question for Apple’s stock is whether “the threat of Bing give[s] Apple an upper hand in negotiating with Google” in its $3 billion per year default search engine contract for iPhones. Google parent Alphabet and OpenAI investor Microsoft are locked in an artificial intelligence power struggle, with Microsoft aiming to use AI to boost its Bing search engine.
Apple’s strong earnings report comes at the tail end of a fairly strong earnings season. About 70% of S&P 500 companies have beat analyst estimates for both profit and sales, above the average seen last year, according to analysis from JPMorgan strategists led by Dubravko Lakos-Bujas. Alphabet, Meta and Microsoft each beat on the top and bottom lines in their respective earnings reports last week.