Apple shares rise as tech firm returns $100 billion to shareholders

Apple shares ended in the green just ahead of reporting record high second quarter revenues after the closing bell in the US Tuesday. The tech giant also announced a $10 billion share buyback.

Apple shares rise as tech firm returns $100 billion to shareholders

Apple shares closed higher in the US Tuesday after reporting a 16% increase in quarterly revenues amid its best ever second quarter performance. The tech business also reported iPhone sales levels that were only marginally below its own expectations.

In addition, the tech innovator announced a $100 billion share buyback programme after reporting a $145 billion cash pile in the previous earnings report, following the changes to the US tax system in 2017.

Apple shares ended the Tuesday US trading session 2.32% higher at $169.10. The stock is also over 3% higher in pre-market activity.

Slowing iPhone sales fail to dent earnings

The details of the Apple earnings report showed a number of better-than-expected details. Revenues in the three months to March hit $61.1 billion – a 16% increase from the same period a year earlier.

And, although the iPhone remains the company’s main driver of revenue, sales of services and other Apple products are growing.

iPhone sales in the three months to March totalled 52.2 million. That number was big enough to impress investors and analysts, even though it signals a further slowdown in iPhone sales.

“We’re thrilled to report our best March quarter ever, with strong revenue growth in iPhone, Services and Wearables,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook.

“Customers chose iPhone X more than any other iPhone each week in the March quarter, just as they did following its launch in the December quarter,” Cook added.

Along with the $100 billion share buyback, Apple also reported earnings per share growth of 30% to $2.73.

Positive outlook

It wasn’t just the backward-looking numbers that impressed. Apple’s outlook for its Q3 period – the three months to June – were also upbeat.

The tech giant is forecasting:

  • Quarterly revenue between $51.5 billion and $53.5 billion.
  • Operating expenses between $7.7 billion and $7.8 billion.
  • Other income of $400 million.
  • A tax rate of approximately 14.5%.

“With the greater flexibility we now have from access to our global cash, we can more efficiently invest in our US operations and work toward a more optimal capital structure,” said Apple’s CFO, 

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