December 9, 2023

Apple Inc reported iPhone sales totaling $43.8 billion on Thursday, setting a record quarter for the company, even without the inclusion of sales from the newly released iPhone 15 series.

“iPhone revenue came in ahead of our expectations,” CEO Tim Cook said to retail investors and investment bankers during the company’s earnings call on Thursday, noting significant growth in various markets including China and India. The company’s services division also performed strongly, generating $22.31 billion and surpassing analyst projections.

Despite the highlights, the Cupertino, California-based tech giant saw a year-over-year decline in overall sales for the fourth consecutive quarter. Sales of Mac and iPad devices sharply decreased, with Mac sales dropping by nearly 34 percent. CFO Luca Maestri provided some context, offering forward-looking statements that suggested cautious optimism.

Apple Store China
People line up to purchase newly-launched iPhone 15 mobile phones at an Apple store. Apple announced $43.8 billion in iPhone sales for the fiscal fourth quarter.
STR/AFP via Getty Images

“We expect our December quarter total company revenue to be similar to last year,” Maestri said, accounting for the impacts of foreign exchange and a shorter reporting period compared to the previous year. He anticipates an increase in Mac sales due to the introduction of new products with M3 chips.

The CFO indicated a stable macroeconomic outlook and predicted revenue growth for iPhones while expecting a deceleration in revenue for iPads and wearables compared to the previous quarter.

Apple’s financial stability is evident in its cash reserve of $162.1 billion and a rise in net income to $22.96 billion, up from the previous year. The company plans to continue its dividend payments and share repurchase program.

Cook detailed Apple‘s strategies for addressing the challenges presented by the current economic environment, saying that the company will continue “to invest in the future and manage for the long term.”

Overall, the company posted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.46, exceeding the forecasted $1.39. Total revenue was $89.50 billion, slightly above the $89.28 billion expected by analysts.

Analysts are looking for $122.98 billion in revenue for the December quarter, which is Apple’s most important quarter.

Amidst Apple’s mixed earnings report, investment analysts hold varying opinions on the company’s outlook. Wedbush Securities maintains an Outperform rating with a price target of $240. Needham Capital Markets echoes with a Buy rating and a $195 price target. Similarly, Oppenheimer rates the stock as Outperform, setting a price target of $220, while Morgan Stanley has an overweight stance with a $210 price target.

Apple shares are currently trading at $172.14.