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Apple shares seen lower after results show iPhone sales miss

Apple shares closed higher in the US Thursday, but are lower pre-market as its fourth quarter earnings showed it sold fewer iPhones in the July-September period. The tech innovator also reported forecast beating earnings and revenues, amid a higher than expected average iPhone sale price.

Apple shares ended the US Thursday trading session 1.54% higher at $222.22. However, the stock slid after the closing bell and is currently some 6.25% in the red.

Apple earnings details

After the US closing bell Thursday, Apple published its earnings results for the July-September period – its financial fourth quarter.

The tech giant said revenues for the period surged 20% from a year earlier to hit $62.9 billion. Meanwhile, profits, meanwhile, climbed 31% to $14.1 billion.

Apple also reported an average iPhone unit sale price of $793. That much higher than the $618 average unit sale price in the same quarter a year earlier and also above market expectations for a figure closer to $750.

While those figures were above expectations, the number of iPhones Tim Cook’s business sold, disappointed. Apple sold 46.89 million iPhones during its fiscal fourth quarter, below analysts’ forecasts for around 47.5 million.

And its this number that could push Apple’s share price to below the total $1 trillion valuation level it currently stands at.

Despite the potential downbeat reception to the earnings report, CEO Cook was positive.

“We’re thrilled to report another record-breaking quarter that caps a tremendous fiscal 2018, the year in which we shipped our 2 billionth iOS device, celebrated the 10th anniversary of the App Store and achieved the strongest revenue and earnings in Apple’s history,” Cook said.

“We concluded a record year with our best September quarter ever, growing double digits in every geographic segment,” Apple’s CFO, Luca Maestri added.

Outlook

Following on from the broadly strong earnings results, in which Apple also recorded a 27% increase in its services revenue, the Cupertino-based tech firm also issued upbeat guidance for the final three months of 2018 – its first fiscal 2019 quarter.

Following the release of its new range of X version iPhones, apple expects:

  • Revenues of $89-$93 billion.
  • Gross margin between 38-38.5%.
  • Operating expenses between $8.7-$8.8 billion.

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