US tech giant Apple on Thursday beat market expectations to report healthy financial earnings for the fourth quarter and offered a rosy forecast for the holiday shopping season. The smartphone major put to rest any production delays on the new iPhone X and exhibiting remarkable strength across its growing line of products and services.
The stellar earnings report came just as the iPhone X went on sale Friday morning in Australia. Long lines were forming at Apple stores around the world, recalling the consumer frenzy that greeted early versions of the iPhone, but had faded with more recent launches.
With supplies potentially tight, some Australian purchasers were already planning to sell their phones for as much as A$3,000, nearly double the A$1,579 selling price. Apple shares rose 4 percent in after-hours trading to hit an all-time high, with analysts lavishing praise on Apple CEO Tim Cook and speculating on when Apple might become the first public company worth a trillion dollars.
The earnings demonstrate how Apple is able to drive growth across an ever-expanding product line that now includes five different iPhone models along with the iPad, the Mac, the Apple Watch and a suite of fast-growing services offerings.
“We had good success, I would say, through the different iPhones,” Cook said on a call with analysts. “We tried hard to have an iPhone that is as affordable as possible for people that really want an iPhone, but may have a more limited budget.”
Apple forecast fiscal first-quarter revenue of $84 billion to $87 billion, at the high end of analysts average expectations of $84.18 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. “A trillion-dollar market cap may now be in Cook’s sights in light of these results and guidance around iPhone X,” said Daniel Ives, an analyst at GBH Insights, referring to Apple’s chief executive.