Apple Beats the Doomsayers with their best March Quarter Ever
Today Apple announced financial results for its fiscal 2018 second quarter ended March 31, 2018. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $61.1 billion, an increase of 16 percent from the year-ago quarter, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $2.73, up 30 percent. International sales accounted for 65 percent of the quarter's revenue.
Tim Cook, Apple's CEO: "We're thrilled to report our best March quarter ever, with strong revenue growth in iPhone, Services and Wearables.
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.
We also grew revenue in all of our geographic segments, with over 20% growth in Greater China and Japan."
Luca Maestri, Apple's CFO: "Our business performed extremely well during the March quarter, as we grew earnings per share by 30 percent and generated over $15 billion in operating cash flow. 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. Given our confidence in Apple's future, we are very happy to announce that our Board has approved a new $100 billion share repurchase authorization and a 16 percent increase in our quarterly dividend."
The Company will complete the execution of the previous $210 billion share repurchase authorization during the third fiscal quarter.
Reflecting the approved increase, the Board has declared a cash dividend of $0.73 per share of Apple's common stock payable on May 17, 2018 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 14, 2018.
The Company also expects to continue to net-share-settle vesting restricted stock units.
From the inception of its capital return program in August 2012 through March 2018, Apple has returned $275 billion to shareholders, including $200 billion in share repurchases. The management team and the Board will continue to review each element of the capital return program regularly and plan to provide an update on the program on an annual basis.
Last Friday Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple's Q1 performance in China was Stunning according to Counterpoint, but Canalys Suspiciously mutes Apple in Report." It would appear that Counterpoint's positive report on Apple panned out with a strong performance in China. In fact Apple's CFO stated during the conference call that Apple enjoyed 21% year-over-year growth in China.
During the conference call this afternoon, Apple's CEO touched on iPhone's performance for the quarter: "For the first half of Apple's fiscal year, the iPhone brought in $100 billion in revenue, an increase of $12 billion dollars over last year setting a new half year record and achieving our highest first half growth rate in three years. The iPhone gained share in the quarter based on IDC's latest estimates for the global smartphone market. And 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."
Apple is providing the following guidance for its fiscal 2018 third quarter:
revenue between $51.5 billion and $53.5 billion
gross margin between 38 percent and 38.5 percent
operating expenses between $7.7 billion and $7.8 billion
other income/(expense) of $400 million
tax rate of approximately 14.5 percent
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