Apple saw quarterly decline with iPhone sales dwindling, but services revenue grew

Apple has experienced a quarterly decline with iPhone sales decreasing by 15 per cent from the prior year.

On January 30, the company announced financial results for its fiscal 2019 first quarter ended December 29, 2018.

Apple posted quarterly revenue of US$84.3 billion, a decline of 5 per cent from the year-ago quarter, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of US$4.18, up 7.5 per cent.

International sales accounted for 62 per cent of the quarter’s revenue.

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While revenue from iPhone declined 15 per cent from the prior year, total revenue from all other products and services grew 19 per cent.

Services revenue reached an all-time high of US$10.9 billion, up 19 per cent over the prior year.

Revenue from Mac and wearables, home and accessories also reached all-time highs, growing 9 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively, and revenue from iPad grew 17 per cent.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said while it was disappointing to miss revenue guidance,  the company manages Apple for the long term, and this quarter’s results demonstrate that the underlying strength of its business runs deep and wide.

“Our active installed base of devices reached an all-time high of 1.4 billion in the first quarter, growing in each of our geographic segments. That’s a great testament to the satisfaction and loyalty of our customers, and it’s driving our Services business to new records thanks to our large and fast-growing ecosystem,” said Cook.

Apple’s CFO Luca Maestri said the company generated very strong operating cash flow of US$26.7 billion during the December quarter and set an all-time EPS record of US$4.18.

“We returned over US$13 billion to our investors during the quarter through dividends and share repurchases. Our net cash balance was US$130 billion at the end of the quarter, and we continue to target a net cash neutral position over time.”

Apple is providing the following guidance for its fiscal 2019 second quarter:

  • revenue between US$55 billion and US$59 billion
  • gross margin between 37 per cent and 38 per cent
  • operating expenses between US$8.5 billion and US$8.6 billion
  • other income/(expense) of US$300 million
  • tax rate of approximately 17 per cent

Apple’s board of directors has declared a cash dividend of US$0.73 per share of the company’s common stock.

The dividend is payable on February 14, 2019 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on February 11, 2019.