Apple reported its first annual revenue decline in 15 years as sales of the iPhone continue to shrink and Wall Street frets that the world’s most valuable company doesn’t have a game-changing new product to revive its growth.
Shares of Apple’s stock slipped about 2 percent in after hours trading on Tuesday.
In the three months ended September 24, Apple said its revenue declined about 9% year on year. The company’s $46.9 billion in fiscal Q4 revenue was in line with Wall Street’s lackluster expectations, as Apple marked the third consecutive quarter that iPhone sales have declined.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the recently released iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models were off to a strong start, with demand for the phones outstripping supply.That will help Apple return its revenue to growth in the next quarter, he said.
“It’s very hard to gauge demand as you know when you’re selling everything you’re making,” Cook said on a conference call.
Cook deflected analyst questions about the company’s rumored efforts developing self-driving car technology during a conference call, describing the potential for technology to revolutionize the car experience as “interesting.”
Here’s what Apple reported for the September quarter:
- Q4 EPS (GAAP): $1.67 per share, down 14.79% year-over-year (y/y), versus expectations of $1.65 Q4 revenue: $46.9 billion, down 8.93% y/y, versus expectations of $46.9 billion Gross margin: 38%, down 4.76% y/y, versus expectations of 37.9% iPhone unit sales: 45.5 million, down 5.3% y/y, versus expectations of 45 million iPhone ASP: $618, down 7.7% y/y, versus expectations of $625 iPad unit sales: 9.2 million, down 6.8% y/y, versus expectations of 9.1 million Mac unit sales: 4.8 million, down 15.7% y/y, versus expectations of 5.1 million December quarter revenue guidance: Between $76 billion and $78 billion. At its midpoint, that guidance suggests 1.44% growth next quarter over last year.
Here’s a table with all the results:
Here are the charts:
Here are our notes from the earnings call:
5:02: Apple really should use Beats 1 as the hold music.
5:03: Apple CEO Tim Cook opens by talking about Thursday’s MacBook Pros, which leaked today!
5:04: iPhone sales up y/y in 33 markets, says Cook. Apple music rev grew by 22% thanks the growing popularity of apple music.
5:05: Cook talking Apple Pay in Japan. “We expect a strong response and rapid adoption … we are seeing strong growth in transaction volume in Apple Pay. Transactions up 500% y/y for the September quarter.” Says more transactions in September than in all of 2015.
5:06: “We have almost doubled the size of our services revenue in the last four years,” says Cook.
5:06: Demand continues to outstrip supply for new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, says Cook.
5:07: Finally Cook gets around to talking Apple Watch. Apple still doesn’t give Apple Watch revenue, but “other products” were down.
5:09: Tim Cook talks Apple’s Home app and its new smart home integrations. “We expect over 100 HomeKit products on the market this year … all reviewed by Apple,” Cook says.
5:11: Tim Cook: iPhone sales in India were up over 50% in fiscal 2016 compared to the prior year.
5:13: Now Apple CFO Luca Maestri is on the line.
5:15: Maestri points out the average selling price for the iPhone is up on a sequential basis, and expects another jump in the December quarter.
5:16: Services revenue up 20% from a year ago, and App Store growth has accelerated for five straight quarters.
5:17: Now Luca Maestri is teasing Apple’s Mac launch on Thursday. He’s confident that next quarter, Apple’s China performance will be better.
5:19: Maestri is “seeing great examples” of iPad and Mac usage in businesses.
5:21: Here’s what investors want to hear about: Maestri talking share buybacks. Apple has reduced its share count by 1.5%.
5:22: Apple made four acquisitions in September quarter, Maestri says.
5:23: Question time! First question is about the Apple Car.
5:25: “I can’t speak about rumors but you know we look for ways we can improve the experience on different sets of products and we’re always looking at new things and the car space in general is an area it’s clear there is a lot of technologies that will become available or will be able to revolutionize the car experience so it’s interesting from that point of view, but nothing to announce today,” Cook said about the car.
5:28: Luca Maestri says Apple is more supply constrained on the iPhone 7 Plus than it was last year on the iPhone 6S Plus.
5:29: R&D question! “Are R&D investments less efficient than they were earlier in the company’s history?”
5:30: “There’s clearly some amount of R&D on products that are in the development phase that have not reached the market, that’s part of it, and we feel really great about the things we’ve got, we’ve also put a lot of emphasis on our services business, and making the ecosystem even better, we’re confidently investing in the future, and that’s why you see R&D investment increasing,” Cook said.
5:31: “We had a surge of upgrades” in 2016 “for the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus” in China. “When the upgrade rate returned to a more normal upgrade rate, akin to what we saw with the iPhone 5S, that’s the main reason why you see a difference. We didn’t forecast that accurately, so we put in too much channel inventory in Q1 of last year, those two issues,” are why Apple’s China iPhone sales have been disappointing, according to Cook.
5:33: Tim Cook: “We’re giving you guidance that we’re returning to growth, which obviously feels very good for us.”
5:39: Does Apple see itself making content or does it seem like more of a ecosystem play?
5:40: “I would confirm that television has intense interest with me and many other people here,” Tim Cook said.
5:41: Tim Cook seems more low-energy than usual, and doesn’t seem to have the same joy he usually has when he gives non-answers to questions about the Apple Car or TV service.
5:43: Siri gets 2 billion requests per week, Tim Cook says.
5:45: Tim Cook says it’s a false tradeoff that you have to “give up” privacy to have good artificial intelligence. Compares it to “privacy vs. security.” Cook says we should have both.
5:46: “Does Apple have a grand strategy? I know you’re not going to tell us, but do you have one?”
5:47: “We have the strongest pipeline that we’ve ever had and we’re really confident about the things in it but as usual we’re not going to talk about what’s in it,” Cook gave a salty reply. “We have a strong sense of where things are going.”
5:50: Tim Cook says when looking at India you are looking at then number of people entering the middle class in the next 10 years. “The smartphone has not done as well in India in general,” he says, pointing to the lack of infrastructure.
5:53: “There are going to be a lot of people in the middle class who are going to want a smartphone, and I think we can compete for some of those,” Cook said. He seems to be hedging a lot when talking about India.
5:58: Maestri talking about the strong dollar, and pointing out that two thirds of Apple’s revenue comes from overseas.
6:00: We announce our thinking on capital return every April, Tim Cook says.
6:01: And we’re done! Thanks for tuning in!