Apple Stock Surges After Strong Earnings Report

AAPL StockAAPL Stock Soars as Apple Beats Expectations

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock rose three percent in after-hours trading as the earnings report beat Wall Street expectations, and Apple registered its first “iPhone” sales growth in a year.

Apple stock registered $78.4 billion in revenue, up three percent year-over-year, beating expectations of $77.4 billion. This is the first time that revenue has returned to growth on an annual basis in three quarters. Revenue was spurred on by a return to form in iPhone sales, which also helped post a company record earnings per share of $3.36. (Source: “Apple beats on revenue and profit but forecasts weakness ahead,” Business Insider, January 31, 2017.)

Apple stock also declared a cash dividend of $0.57 per share.

But it was not all roses for the tech giant. The company’s sales forecast for the first three months of 2017 fell short of analyst targets. AAPL stock also saw a decline in its net income for the final three months of 2016, along with a gross profit margin contraction.

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“iPad” sales were also a low point for the company, coming in at 13 million units sold versus the 16.2 million in the same quarter of 2015. “Mac” sales also showed no growth, stagnating at 5.3 million, the same number in the coinciding period the previous year.

The company has put its second-quarter guidance at $51.5 billion to $53.5 billion.

“It’s a significantly better performance any way you looked at it, versus what we had experienced the previous three quarters,” CEO Tim Cook said during the earnings report call. “iPhone 7 was the best-selling smartphone in China according to Kantar.”

“We’re not without challenges there although I do like many things I’ve seen.”

Cook also mentioned the “Apple Watch” and its relative success in the quarter.

“We now have a rich lineup of wearable products,” he said. He also said that there was “huge potential for Apple Watch going forward.” This was the best quarter ever for the Apple Watch in both unit sales and revenue, according to the call.