Apple ploughs US tax cuts into record share buybacks

The Apple iPhone X sits on display at the new Apple Michigan Avenue store along the Chicago River in Chicago. Associated Press files
The Apple iPhone X sits on display at the new Apple Michigan Avenue store along the Chicago River in Chicago. Associated Press files

03 May, 2018

One driver of the stock aside from the earnings is a massive $100 billion share buyback plan that effectively has not been challenged by any other company in the world.

Apple reported $2.73 in EPS and $61.1 billion in revenue, beating consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters of $2.69 EPS on $60.98 billion in revenue.

Apple also will spend $100 billion more buying back its stock, a move that will enrich shareholders by helping to drive up the company's stock price.

But Apple sold 52.2 million iPhones in the second quarter, compared with 50.8 million a year ago. iPhone revenue came in at $38 billion, a 14 percent increase from the same quarter last year.

That came on top of $22.8 billion in buybacks executed in the prior quarter, "a record amount for any issue in any quarter", analyst Howard Silverblatt said.

Apple has associated itself with India carriers, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel who have been offering 4G services while bundling data services with free voice on the smartphone, besides offering cash backs to consumers to rev up sales, even as pace of growth for the company has slowed down when compared to the previous five years.

Sales of iPhones, which account for almost two-thirds of company revenues, rose during the quarter, although total volume came in at 52.2 million units, a bit below consensus estimates of 53 million.

Apple provided a relatively solid outlook for the current fiscal third quarter, with revenue in the range of US$51.5 billion to US$53.5 billion. In after hours trading AAPL stock spiked as high as 4.2%.

"Customers chose iPhone X more than any other iPhone each week in the March quarter, just as they did following its launch in the December quarter, I could not be prouder of the product".

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The recent financial results of Apple has shown that Apple iPhone X is doing an outstanding business in the market. Apple receives 30 percent of the price of one-time app purchases and purchases made within apps, such as items in video games, and 15 percent of App Store subscriptions to services like Netflix Inc after a year.

No company benefited more from the tax break on overseas cash than Apple, which had accumulated more than $250 billion outside the USA during the past decade, thanks to the enormous popularity of the iPhone and other products.

Apple bought shares worth $23.5bn in the three months to March.

Apple had a record sale of 52.2 million iPhone, although according to FactSet a firm which performs market research the sales is slightly below what has been estimated. Corundum Group Inc. now owns 2,242 shares of the iPhone maker's stock valued at $346,000 after purchasing an additional 299 shares in the last quarter.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook offered a bullish outlook on the company, touting the company's product pipeline as the "best we've ever had" and championing good sales of the iPhone 10, a recently unveiled model whose US$1,000 price tag has aroused worries about being too high.

Reports of the iPhone X's demise appear to have been greatly exaggerated, according to Apple's earnings report Tuesday.

While actual iPhone X numbers were never revealed, the ASP rise and Tim Cook's mention of it being the top-selling iPhone model speak to Apple's flagship being far from a flop.

On whether the Indian market was saturated, Cook said: "I do not buy the view that market is saturated".

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