Applefirst-quarter earnings after the bell. Analysts expect the iPhone maker to post its first year-over-year revenue decline since 2019. Here’s what Wall Street is expecting, per Refinitiv consensus expectations.
Revenue: $121.19 billionEarnings per share: $1.94 per shareiPhone revenue: $68.29 billioniPad revenue: $7.76 billionMac revenue: $9.63 billionOther products revenue: $15.23 billionServices revenue: $20.67 billion
The primary focus for investors will be the company’s December quarter revenue. In November, Apple gave a rare warning explaining that production issues in China stemming from Covid restrictions would result in lower than anticipated shipments.
The data point caused many analysts covering the stock to slash their estimates.
Customers in many regions noticed that Apple shipping times for the high-end iPhone 14 Pro slipped past a month during the quarter, versus typical lead times of under a week, meaning that the premium iPhones were a tough Christmas present for people to get their hands on.
Now investors are looking for two answers on Thursday: How much did Apple sales really slip because of the production issue, and will people who missed out on an iPhone 14 Pro in December wait until 2023 to pick one up, which would effectively push sales from the 1st quarter into the 2nd quarter?
Investors may be able to get the answer to the second question from Apple’s guidance. Apple hasn’t given guidance since 2020, citing uncertainty first caused by the pandemic. However, Apple management usually gives a few data points that give analysts a sense of how the quarter is going.
Analysts expect Apple to report $98 billion in sales in the March quarter, or slight year-over-year growth. If Apple’s data points suggest that it might come in under that figure, investors may question whether Apple can continue to outperform the market and whether waning consumer confidence may be starting to hurt its business.
The smartphone market and the PC market are both in the midst of a multiple-year slowdown, with sales falling in 2022. Analysts believe that Apple has done better than much of its competition even as shipments fall, but if consumer confidence is eroding, eventually sales of Apple’s premium-priced phones and computers will slow down.
Aside from hardware, Apple’s services business will be a focus after the bell. Several data points in the December quarter, including Apple’s own App Store payouts, suggest a slowdown in App Store growth. The App Store is one of the largest components in Apple’s services business, which is expected to total $20.67 billion in sales during the quarter, which would represent a nearly 6% growth rate.
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