Apple Shares Tumble Despite Topping Earnings Expectations

Photo Credit: JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
November 1, 2018
Updated 19d ago

By Chloe Aiello

Apple lost its hold on the $1 trillion market cap mark after the company's latest earnings report.

Shares tumbled more than 7 percent after the bell on Thursday, despite the company beating analyst estimates for both earnings and revenue. Apple ($AAPL) reported disappointing iPhone sales and weak guidance for the all-important holiday quarter.

While analysts, on average, were expecting sales of about $93 billion to round out the year, Apple said it would only meet those expectations under the best of circumstances. It forecast a range of $89 billion to $93 billion. CEO Tim Cook said weakness in emerging markets, unfavorable foreign exchange rates, and questions about whether the company can meet demand for iPhones all factored into that guidance.

For the current quarter Apple reported earnings of $2.91 per share on revenue of $62.9 billion, beating analyst estimates of earnings per share of $2.78 on $61.57 billion in revenue.

The company also posted just a slight bump in the ever-important metric of iPhone sales, selling just under 47 million units. But thanks to the more expensive, newer versions, the average selling price rose to $793, well above analyst estimates of $750.78.

Faced with stagnating iPhone sales and lengthening product replacement cycles, Apple has gambled that it can successfully boost margins by raising prices on premium products without alienating its loyal customer base. In September, the company introduced three new iPhones ー two of them priced at or above the original iPhone X, which dropped jaws with its $1,000 price tag when it debuted last year.

Another metric analysts are watching closely: Apple's services revenue. The business, which includes Apple Music and iCloud, has become increasingly important as momentum from its core hardware products like the iPhone and Mac slow. The unit brought in revenue of $9.98 billion in the latest quarter ー up 17 percent from last year but just below Street expectations.

Then there's its "other products" division, which includes wearables, like the Apple Watch and AirPods. Apple reported that business raked in $4.2 billion in revenue, a 31 percent increase from a year ago.