Apple in touching distance of $US1 trillion mark after profits jump

Apple in touching distance of $US1 trillion mark after profits jump

Apple in touching distance of $US1 trillion mark after profits jump

But on second glance, Apple's numbers tell an interesting story. iPhone sales were barely up compared to the same quarter past year, and at 41.3 million units sold, the analyst expectation of 41.79 million units was actually missed.

While the tech giant sold fewer of its flagship iPhones than expectedー41.3 million units versus estimates for 41.8 millionーthe average selling price of $724 was above forecasts.

During a conference call with analysts, Cook said the iPhone X was the most popular iPhone in the fiscal third quarter, gaining market share around the world. In the last quarter, Apple's services made $9.5 billion, making it the second-largest business segment for the firm. The ASP is, however, down slightly on the previous quarter ASP of $728, but up on the year-ago quarter ASP figure of $606.

Apple is on the cusp of becoming the world's first trillion-dollar company after smashing Wall Street forecasts on Tuesday night (US time) with a leap in profits.

After last week's investor-led beating of Facebook - on Thursday, Facebook had the single worst day in stock market history, losing more than $120bn from its market cap as its stock tanked over 20% - Apple's numbers are likely to give a measure of relief to FAANG-wary investors.

Apple's guidance for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 includes expected revenue of $60-62 billion and gross margin between 38 and 38.5 percent.

About the only impediments holding Apple from $1 trillion are buybacks and dividends, which enhance the company's share price though doesn't necessarily enhance its overall market value.

There is also a sense that the days of soar-away sales are behind the mobile phone industry and investors are now more focused on Apple's services business - which includes Apple Music, iCloud and Apple Pay - for future growth.

Luckily, a long-underappreciated Apple division is coming to the fore: Services.

Apple's biggest selling products do not yet face duties stemming from the U.S. Amazon (AMZN) and Alphabet (GOOGL) fared much better after each reported quarterly earnings.

"We are not able to catch up to demand yet and continue to add capacity for the AirPods", Maestri said.

The results "were driven by continued strong sales of iPhone, Services and Wearables, and we are very excited about the products and services in our pipeline", Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Apple said it expects operating expenses of $7.95 billion to $8.05 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with analyst estimates of $7.8 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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