Apple headquarters in Cupertino.
Shares in Apple Inc. dropped over 6% on Friday following the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report on Thursday. Apple still remains the most valuable company based on stock market capitalization but it fell under the $1 trillion mark after the share decline.
Apple did report its best fourth-quarter ever with revenues of $62.9 billion, a 20% increase from a year ago. iPhone sales were 46.89 million in the quarter, up 29% from a year ago. However, this number was slightly below what Wall Street analysts were predicting. iPad sales were 9.7 million in the quarter, down 17% from last year. Mac sales were 5.3 million, up 3% from a year ago.
What spooked investors was Apple’s announcement that it would no longer release sales data for the iPhone, iPad and Macs after this year. Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri made the announcement in an investor conference call by saying sales data did not necessarily demonstrate the strength of Apple’s lineup but would continue to disclose product revenues. Maestri also cited Apple competitors which did not disclose sales figures.
“We concluded a record year with our best September quarter ever, growing double digits in every geographic segment. We set September quarter revenue records for iPhone and Wearables and all-time quarterly records for Services and Mac,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “We generated $19.5 billion in operating cash flow and returned over $23 billion to shareholders in dividends and share repurchases in the September quarter, bringing total capital returned in fiscal 2018 to almost $90 billion.”
“We’re thrilled to report another record-breaking quarter that caps a tremendous fiscal 2018, the year in which we shipped our 2 billionth iOS device, celebrated the 10th anniversary of the App Store and achieved the strongest revenue and earnings in Apple’s history,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Over the past two months, we’ve delivered huge advancements for our customers through new versions of iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad and Mac as well as our four operating systems, and we enter the holiday season with our strongest lineup of products and services ever.”
The Apple Services division hit $10 billion in the quarter, a record for the company. The division includes the App Store, subscriptions, Apple Music, Apple Care and Apple Pay.