Apple shares dived over five per cent as U.S. markets opened today, causing the Californian company to fall below its $1 trillion valuation as investors reacted to its prediction of a Christmas slump. It expects between $89 billion and $93 billion in revenue for its next quarter, whereas Wall Street expects $93 billion. Analysts were looking for US$92.7 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said the company's decision to change that aspect of its reporting structure was based on the company facing new realities with its major business lines. But Apple can't avoid the problem forever.
Apple holds around 12 percent of the global smartphone market, with most of the rest sold by makers of Android-powered software.
Apple is making a lot of money right now.
Evidence of that could be seen in Apple's fourth-quarter results.
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Analysts' consensus estimates are calling for revenue of $61.48 billion, up 16.9% year over year and near the high end of Apple's forecast; earnings per share are being pegged at $2.78, rising 34.3% compared to the prior-year quarter. That was a disappointment, considering there were no big iPhone launches in the same period past year. However, this number was slightly below what Wall Street analysts were predicting. iPad sales were 9.7 million in the quarter, down 17% from previous year. Just recently, the company announced the iPhone XS Max, a larger and more popular phone that appears to have attracted quite a number of users.
The company said iPhone revenue had grown by 29%, thanks to an increase in the average selling price of iPhones from $618 a year ago to $793.
Meanwhile chief executive Tim Cook revealed the tech titan will stop reporting unit sales for its iPhones, iPads and other products. The unit sales report from Apple was used by many analysts. Apple is still growing revenues and remains wildly profitable. With a starting price of US$749, it's expected to be a popular holiday gift, luring owners of older iPhones to upgrade. The results were good, with Apple raking in record revenue - up 18 per cent quarter-on-quarter, and 20 per cent year-on-year. As far as its other devices are concerned, which includes AirPods, Apple TV, Apple Watch, HomePod, iPad Touch and Beats products, while the company did not report on the number of units its sold, its revenue grew by 13 per cent from $3,231 million in Q4 of 2017 to $4,234 million in the final quarter of 2018.
Instead, Apple continues to try to focus investors on the strong sales growth for supplementary services, including Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud. The company is working on digital newspaper subscriptions and original video content for next year.
The move cost Apple dearly, helping to send shares down about 7 percent in after-hours trading.