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Apple Shares Sink as iPhone Sales and Revenue Outlook Disappoint

The company sold a record 51 million iPhones, but Apple shares tumbled more than eight percent after hours.


Apple posted record iPhone sales in the holiday quarter, but fell short of more optimistic Wall Street expectations, sending shares down eight percent in after-hours trading.

The iPhone and iPad maker on Monday reported quarterly earnings of $13.1 billion, or $14.50 per share, on revenue of $57.6 billion.

The revenue figure was generally in line with what analysts were expecting, while earnings were ahead of the consensus forecast. However, the iPhone sales of 51 million units, while a record, were below the average 54 million units that some analysts were expecting. The company’s revenue forecast for the coming quarter also failed to meet expectations.

Shares of Apple were down more than eight percent in after-hours trading after the report, bouncing around $505, down about $45.

Analysts had been expecting the company to report earnings of around $14.09 a share, on revenue of $57.47 billion. Apple itself had projected revenue of between $55 million and $58 million when it issued its last quarterly earnings report in October.

The company sold 51 million iPhones, up from 47.8 million in the year-ago quarter, along with 26 million iPads, up from 22.9 million a year ago. Mac sales totaled 4.8 million, up from 4.1 million a year ago.

“We love having the most satisfied, loyal and engaged customers, and are continuing to invest heavily in our future to make their experiences with our products and services even better,” CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.

For the current quarter, which runs through the end of March, Apple has forecast revenue of between $42 billion and $44 billion, along with gross profit margins of 37 percent to 38 percent. Some analysts had been looking for a higher revenue outlook, and that also pressured shares.

In addition to the financial results, Apple announced a $3.05 per-share dividend. Apple noted that the company returned $7.7 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases during the December quarter, which also generated $22.7 billion in cash flow.

Apple will hold a conference call at 2 pm PT to discuss the earnings.

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