Tech

Apple shares close higher as upbeat earnings guidance quells iPhone X fears

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Key Points
  • Apple shares jumped after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly results and announced a $100 billion share repurchase program.
  • Apple gave revenue guidance for the current quarter of $51.5 billion to $53.5 billion, well above the midpoint of $51.61 billion expected by Thomson Reuters consensus.
Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook is shown with TV personality James Corden and musician Pharrell during a taped comedy bit in this image shot from a projection screen during an Apple media event in San Francisco, California, U.S. September 7, 2016.
Beck Diefenbach | Reuters

Apple shares gained 4.4 percent Wednesday, a day after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly results and announced a $100 billion share repurchase program.

The iPhone maker's shares went negative for the year on April 20, but erased year-to-date losses by Wednesday morning. Shares closed the day at $176.57, up more than 4 percent on the day and year.

Apple's capital return program, which is usually updated each spring, was widely expected to impress shareholders, thanks to tax reforms that executives said give the company more flexibility with cash. But Wall Street worried that the company's $999 flagship iPhone X would have trouble competing as the smartphone market gets more crowded.

CEO Tim Cook assuaged some of those fears on an earnings conference call Tuesday evening. Apple gave revenue guidance for the current quarter of $51.5 billion to $53.5 billion, well above the midpoint of $51.61 billion expected by a Thomson Reuters survey of analysts.

Although Apple sold slightly fewer iPhones than expected — and at a lower price — during the quarter, Cook said he's optimistic there's room to run in the smartphone market worldwide. The company also did a better-than-expected job of monetizing its existing user base with services.

"I don't buy the view that the market's saturated," Cook said. "I think the smartphone market is sort of the best market for a consumer product company in the history of the world."