Apple sees holiday-quarter sales above Wall St, shares rise

Todd Singleton
November 3, 2017

Analysts have been eager to see whether Apple will be able to balance supply and demand for the iPhone X during the crucial holiday quarter, with most saying it will likely take Apple until next year or early spring to do so.

Now seeing as how the iPhone has always been Apple's primary revenue driver, it's no surprise that quarterly iPhone sales is the metric analysts typically pay most attention to. In the final minutes of trading on Thursday, shares hit $168.11, a rise of 51 percent in the last 12 months. That's higher than it expected during the same period past year, $76 billion and $78 billion, and slightly above analyst expectations.

Apple did not disclose how many customers had placed preorders of the iPhone X, nor did its release comment on speculation iPhone X demand has hurt iPhone 8 sales.

Apple's revenue guidance for Q4 2017 fell between $49 billion and $52 billion, with gross margin estimated to be between 37.5% and 38%.

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GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives said strong worldwide demand for the new smartphone, along with "complex production issues", meant the iPhone X would remain in short supply until April or May next year. The combo of new iPad Pro models alongside the low-cost but excellent standard iPad led to 10.3 million tablets sold for Apple, up 11 percent year-over-year. "So, if the launch is tomorrow, the iPhone X units will arrive tomorrow or later tonight", a senior Apple executive told IANS.

"What Apple needs to do is manage consumer expectations so they don't get frustrated having to wait for so long for a new phone", Ives said. The previous record was set in 2015 when Apple shipped 231 million iPhones, thanks to larger models introduced just before the fiscal year began. They are expecting the company to sell 242 million iPhones in the fiscal year ending in September 2018 - the most in the product's history. By comparison, Apple shipped almost 217 million iPhones in its just-completed fiscal 2017.

The Cupertino, California-based company said it had net income of $2.07 per share.

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