But profits for Q4 reveal historic decline
Apple was standing on the cusp with investors last night [28th October 2013] after hinting that earnings could start growing again as iPhone sales gain traction. Although the company recorded its first fall in profits since 2001, with Q4 profits at $7.5 billion compared to $8.2 billion last year , CEO Tim Cook insisted Apple was “stronger than ever” and would consider returning more cash to shareholders by the beginning of 2014. Analysts had feared that the cheaper iPhone 5C model would perform poorly, but overall sales of iPhones came in at $33.8 million in the quarter, up 26 per cent on the year.
Stock in the Cupertino giant initially fell four per cent in after-hours trading but then recovered to gain as much as one per cent, as Apple explained that margins would be closer to 38.5 per cent if not for the deferred revenues from its software giveaway.
Apple shares are still trading below their record high of $702 but have risen by about a fifth a 20 in the past three months. Last night they closed at $529, up less than 1 per cent on the day.