Apple reported earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter Thursday that beat Wall Street estimates on both the top and bottom lines. It also locked in a strategy of boosting prices to offset slowing sales — posting an eye-popping average selling price for the iPhone during the key September quarter.
But shares of Apple fell more than 7 percent — falling below its historic $1 trillion market cap — following the release, after the company missed shipment estimates on iPhones, offered light guidance and announced major changes to its reporting structure. By 4:00 a.m. ET on Friday morning, Apple shares had erased some of those losses but were still down 5.5 percent in premarket trade.
The company is projecting total revenue for the first quarter in the range of $89 billion to $93 billion, extending just slightly below analyst estimates of $93.02 billion.
Here's how Apple did compared with what Wall Street predicted for the fourth quarter:
- Earnings: $2.91 per share vs. $2.78, forecast by Refinitiv consensus estimates
- Revenue: $62.9 billion vs. $61.57 billion, forecast by Refinitiv consensus estimates
- iPhone sales: 46.89 million vs. 47.5 million, forecast by FactSet and StreetAccount estimates
- iPhone average selling price (ASP): $793 vs. $750.78, forecast by FactSet and StreetAccount estimates
Apple posted iPhone unit sales that were practically flat year-over-year, extending the trend of only modest growth it's seen in recent quarters. To compensate, Apple has increased the price of the iPhone, boosting its ASP and overall profit.
The company reported an ASP of $793 — a year-over-year increase of 28 percent — and well above analyst projections of $750.78, based on FactSet and StreetAccount estimates.
An ASP that high could indicate strong initial sales for Apple's highest-priced smartphone models: the iPhone XS, starting at $999, and iPhone XS Max, starting at $1,099. Both went on sale about a week before the end of the September quarter. It also indicates users are settling into higher device prices.
It's the last quarter that Apple will report such detailed iPhone figures, though.