Apple Beats Guidance with Record Revenue of $78.4B and EPS of $3.36 [Update]

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Apple announced Tuesday record revenue for its December quarter of US$78.4 billion, as well as record earnings per share (EPS) of $3.36. That’s up from $75.9 billion in revenue in the year-ago quarter with EPS of $3.28. Actual earnings were down year over year to $17.9 billion, but share buybacks resulted in the increase in EPS.

The company said it returned a staggering $15 billion to shareholders during the quarter in the form of stock buybacks and dividends. That dividend remains at $0.57 per share. All told, Apple has returned some $200 billion to shareholders since it began its current shareholder return program.

Apple had guided for revenues between $76 and $78 billion, with gross margins between 38-38.5%. Consensus estimates from Wall Street were $77.4 billion for revenue and earnings per share (EPS) of $3.22.

Apple with a big pile of money

iPhone Sales Return to Growth

Apple said iPhone sales returned to growth during the quarter, with sales of 78.2 million units. iPhone’s average selling price (ASP) was lifted from $691 to $695 on the strength of increased iPhone 7 Plus performance.

iPads and Macs

iPad unit sales declined 19% to 13 million units, while Mac sales were up 1%. That last bit is mixed news as it means Apple returned to Mac growth, but only barely, and despite a long, long, long overdue update to its MacBook Pro line.

Q2 Guidance

Apple provided guidance for the second quarter of revenue between $51.5 billion and $53.5 billion, with gross margins between 38 percent and 39 percent. The company is expecting operating expenses between $6.5 billion and $6.6 billion, and a tax rate of 26 percent.

$AAPL

Shares of $AAPL traded slightly lower Tuesday, ending the day at $121.35 per share, down $0.28 (-0.23%), on heavy volume of 43.4 million shares trading hands. Investors greeted Tuesday’s earnings enthusiastically in the opening minutes of the after hours sessions, sending the stock higher to $124.58, up 3.23 (+2.66%).

Apple will stream its quarterly call with analysts live, and The Mac Observer will provide detailed coverage of any developments from that call.

More details to follow.

*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a tiny, almost insignificant share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.

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