Apple Sold 46.9 Million iPhones in the Last Quarter, Slightly Below Expectations

Devin Lawrence
November 4, 2018

The slide continued in pre-market trading Friday, with the stock falling 5.8 percent as of 7:15 NY. We recommend prospective investors wait for a more attractive margin of safety for this narrow-moat behemoth.

Despite the falling shares, this was Apple's best-ever fourth quarter. "Q4 revenue was up 29 per cent over a year ago, 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.

"The Street will find this a tough pill to swallow this morning. given that tracking iPhone units have become habitual to any investor that has closely followed the Apple story for the last decade-plus and is critical to the thesis", Ives wrote in a note on Friday. As a point of reference, analysts on Wall Street were anticipating revenue to fall in the $61.59 billion range with EPS to fall around $2.78.

Apple said revenue from services, which includes iCloud, the App Store and Apple Music, reached $10 billion, in line with analyst estimates. 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.

Signaling that its the era of unit sales growth has come to an end, Apple this week said that it would be much less transparent about device sales.

Apple just made it a little trickier to figure out how well its iPhones are selling.

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Thanks to last year's release of the first iPhone to cost $1,000, the average price has increased by at least 11 percent in each of the past four quarters.

Q4 unit sales increased 20 percent year-over-year, or 18 percent sequentially. Sales of iPad also witnessed a decline with the company selling just 9,699 units in Q4 2018 as against 10,326 units sold during the same time previous year.

Cook also shared concerns for his company around import duties on key Apple products, and he said that it is an area where the company is sharing feedback with the Indian government. "Time for investors to adjust to the new disclosures", analysts from the firm said.

In a recent earnings call, the technology giant revealed total revenues for last year were $62.9 billion (£48.3 billion) which is over $10 billion what the company netted last year. Instead, iPhone, iPad and Mac sales will be shared as one revenue figure.

"I can reassure that it is our objective to grow unit sales for every product category that we have", Apple's chief financial officer Luca Maestri told financial analysts.

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