Listen to this article


Apple reported that iPhone unit sales fell by 1 per cent in the last quarter to 50.8m units, just short of Wall Street’s estimates, as the Silicon Valley-based company increased its capital returns to shareholders by $50bn.

Apple’s basic earnings per share rose 10 per cent to $2.11, beating analysts’ forecasts for the quarter.

The drop in iPhone unit sales was counterbalanced by a 1 per cent increase in revenues from Apple’s flagship device, as average selling prices were driven up $13 by the popularity of the larger 7 Plus model.

In an interview, Apple finance chief Luca Maestri said that the reported figure includes only handsets that were sold into the retail channel. On a “sell through” basis that captures final sales to consumers, total sales were 52m – around the level analysts were expecting for the quarter – because channel inventory was reduced by 1.2m units.

Overall, Apple’s sales grew 5 per cent to $52.9bn, compared with Wall Street’s consensus estimates of $53.1bn.

“We are proud to report a strong March quarter, with revenue growth accelerating from the December quarter and continued robust demand for iPhone 7 Plus,” Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said in a statement, noting “strong momentum” in its services business.

For the June quarter, Apple forecast revenues of $43.5bn-$45.5bn, or year-on-year growth of 3 to 7 per cent – a touch below analysts’ expectations of $45.7bn.

At the same time as releasing its results, Apple said it would increase the size of its capital return programme to $300bn by the end of March 2019. That includes $210bn worth of share buybacks and a 10.5 per cent dividend increase.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.

Follow the topics mentioned in this article

Follow the authors of this article

Comments have not been enabled for this article.