Apple Reports Fourth Quarter Results

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Apple shares sink as Xmas sales forecast disappoints investors

Sales were flat in the fourth quarter in India, Cook said. Apple's resilience was all the more impressive considering the company is exposed to China at a time of escalating trade tension with the U.S.

"The Street continues to be laser-focused on the demand trajectory for iPhones into 2019 with the trifecta of next-generation iPhones on the horizon", wrote Ives, who is projecting iPhone unit shipments of 220 million next year.

Hewson, however, pointed to a "rather twisted sense of priorities" as analysts expect the company to bring in revenue of $90bn next quarter but also obsess about unit numbers over product prices. Some parts of it, like iCloud storage, are likely lucrative, but others, like Apple Music, are probably less so because Apple has to pay music licenses costs and competes with rival Spotify Technology SA. Shares were down more than 7% in regular trading Friday morning, and hit an intraday low of $205.43 per share.

Apple has provided investors with this information for the past 20 years, with the upward trajectory of iPhone sales in particular over the past decade helping drive its market value up.

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The iPhone XR is one of the few outliers from the trend of more costly Apple gadgets.

The disclosure is weighing on Apple's stock despite strong fourth-quarter results that saw the company report record quarterly revenue and earnings per share.

This newly formulated section will comprise of Apple Watch, HomePod and Beats.

What spooked investors was Apple's announcement that it would no longer release sales data for the iPhone, iPad and Macs after this year.

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"If you go to the market and you push your cart up to the cashier and she says, or he says, 'How many units you have in there?' It doesn't matter a lot how many units there are in there in terms of the overall value of what's in the cart".

For years, Apple investors and customers marveled as the number of iPhones sold seemed to defy gravity. The iPhone maker boasted $62.9 billion in revenue, slightly more than the $60-62 billion it previously estimated, as well as $14.1 billion in profit, up from $11.5 billion in the previous quarter. Earnings per share came in at $2.91, topping the average estimate of $2.79 among analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research. Apple reported that they sold 46.89 million iPhones versus Wall Street consensus expectations of 47.5 million units sold.

"Q4 revenue was up 29 per cent over past year, an increase of over $8 billion to a new September quarter record fuelled by continued momentum for iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X, and the very successful launch of iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max", Cook added. With the success of the iPhone X following last year's launch, Apple also realized it could sell expensive handsets and people would still eat them up, which means those high prices are here for good.

But now everyone will be left to guess whether Apple clears that financial hurdle during the holiday season.

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