Apple Is Returning Another $100 Billion to Shareholders
Apple has decided to return another $100 billion to shareholders from its huge cash pile as solid iPhone sales helped revenues rise 16% to just over $61 billion.
The tech giant sold 52.2 million iPhones in the Q1 of 3018 – only a touch below expectations, despite waning global demand for smart phones.
Revenues at Apple’s services business that includes Apple Music and the App Store jumped almost a third to $9.1 billion.
Apple has about $145 billion in the bank, but plans to return the cash to investors.
After the announcement, the company’s shares rose 3% in after-hours trading on Wall Street.
Apple, flush with a huge cash pile on strong earnings boosted by the US tax cut plan of 2017, also announced a 16% boost to its quarterly dividend.
That came on top of $22.8 billion in buybacks executed in the Q4 of 2017.
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Overall, the company reported a 3% rise in the number of phones sold, while revenue from phones jumped 14%, reflecting more expensive models.
Some analysts had questioned whether demand for the most expensive iPhone would hold up after the initial rush.
However, Apple said the iPhone X was the best-selling model in every week of the quarter – despite costing almost $1,000.
The iPhone’s average selling prices came in at $728, below analyst expectations of $742.
On a call with financial analysts, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook dismissed concerns about soft demand for smart phones, pointing to the millions of people who still do not own one.
He said on a call with investors: “We still believe that over time every phone sold will be a smart phone, so it seems to us… that’s a pretty big opportunity.”
The iPhone continues to account for the bulk of Apple’s revenues at just over 62% of the total. Sales of iPads rose 2% to 9.1 million units compared with the same period last year, while Mac sales slipped 3% to 4.07 million.
Apple’s services unit added 30 million subscriptions in the last three months alone, bringing the total to 270 million.
The company’s overall profits in the quarter were $13.8 billion, up a quarter from the same period in 2017.
Apple’s revenue hit a record for the Q1 of 2018, which follows the Christmas rush and is traditionally one of the company’s weaker periods.
Sales growth of more than 20% in Japan and the greater China market – a critical area for the company – helped to lift the numbers.