Even the optimists, who are so numerous on Wall Street, admit their pleasant surprise. In a saturated smartphone market, not only has Apple returned to iPhone sales growth in the last quarter, but the Cupertino (California) firm has also been boosted by the success of its other portable products. As sales of services, such as apps and subscriptions to its new video-on-demand platform, are also increasing sharply, Apple is breaking new records in sales and profits. It’s been over a year since its profits had increased.
The orders of magnitude of Apple’s performance in the last three months of 2019 are still just as shocking: $ 91.8 billion in quarterly sales and $ 22.2 billion in profits! The October-December period corresponds to a seasonal surge in sales due to the holiday season. Compared to the end of 2018, Apple manages to increase its turnover by 9%. Its profits at the same time increased by 11.4%.
Wall Street’s initial reaction was positive. Apple’s share price in the over-the-counter market after the close of the Nasdaq was up more than 1%. Over the past year, the stock has appreciated by more than 103%. Apple’s capitalization now exceeds $ 1.4 trillion, compared to $ 1.263 trillion for number two on the US stock market, Microsoft, and just over $ 1. trillion for Alphabet, Google’s parent company.
Tim Cook, the boss of Apple, says the company is unable to produce enough new wireless “AirPods” headphones and new “Apple Watch” digital watches to meet demand. He doesn’t know when she’ll get there. In one year, sales of these so-called “portable” (wearable) items have increased from $ 7.3 billion in the last quarter of 2018 to $ 10 billion today, representing growth of 37%.
Sales of the iPhone, which now accounts for only 61% of total sales, rose again and by a factor of 7.6%, reaching nearly $ 60 billion in three months. Apple no longer publishes the number of iPhones sold, but the success of the new model, the iPhone 11, launched in the fall is undeniable. Lower prices in China have also contributed to higher iPhone sales.
Only iPads and Mac computers are on the decline
In services, a key sector because margins are higher and also because it allows Apple to reduce its historical dependence on sales of iPhones, growth is strong, although slightly less impressive than Wall Street forecast. Sales still increased by almost 17% to exceed $ 12.7 billion. In this context, the only business sectors in decline are Mac computers (-3.6%) and iPads (-12.6%).
Another source of pride for Apple: the number of its terminals installed, all categories combined, has increased in one year by 100 million. This brings the total to 1.5 billion, of which 480 million users subscribe to its services or those of one of its partners. For Tim Cook, this progress is encouraging and promises future increases in demand for services.
Due to the coronavirus epidemic affecting many of its suppliers in China, Apple has released a forecast sales range for the current quarter that is wider than usual. The company expects a total of between 63 and 67 billion dollars, which is slightly higher than analysts’ expectations.