What to expect from Apple's Q2 2017 earnings report | Cult of Mac

What to expect from Apple’s Q2 2017 earnings report

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Earnings call
Apple made a ton of money last quarter.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple is set to reveal its second quarterly earnings report of 2017 next Tuesday, and based on early estimates from analysts, Tim Cook might not have much to boast about.

Wall Street has been in love with Apple stock the last few months, sending it to all-time highs since the last earnings report came out. But with the holiday shopping season over and a lack of new products to boost sales, Apple’s numbers may look a bit flat.

These are the key areas to watch for:

Will Apple beat on revenue?

money
Apple made a ton of money last quarter.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

$50.6 billion in revenue is the number Apple needs to beat from Q2 2016. During its last call, the company said it expects to see modest growth, with revenues between $51.5 billion and $53.5 billion. Meeting or beating estimates would give Apple its second straight quarter with year-over-year growth, which will do great things for its stock price.

iPhone sales

Product Red iPhone box
Did the red iPhone give Apple a sales bump?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple sold 51.2 million iPhones during Q2 2016. This year, analysts expect the company to sell just under 52 million in Q2. That’s a big drop from the record 78.3 million iPhones sold last quarter, but any growth at all from last year would be a big win. If Apple hits 52 million iPhones, it will be a good sign for investors worried that the line is losing steam ahead of the iPhone 8 launch.

Massive cash flow

Apple’s stash of cash is expected to hit the $250 billion mark this quarter, making it by far the richest company in tech. The iPhone-maker has so much cash its reserves exceed the foreign-currency reserves of the U.K. and Canada combined. If Apple can bring the cash back to the US it could mean a big acquisition like Netflix or Tesla. Or maybe a big stock buy back that will delight investors.

Apple’s China revenue

Tim Cook meets with Apple Store employees in China.
Tim Cook meets with Apple Store employees in China.
Photo: Apple

A lot of Apple’s growth the past few years came from China. However, that’s tailed off considerably in recent months. The consensus among analysts is that revenue from China will continue to be sluggish in Q2. Last year, Apple reported $12.49 billion in sales from China. This year, that number is expected to be less than $12 billion. That’s not bad considering it’s Apple’s second-biggest market, but Wall Street will want more.

Apple services

apple-music
Apple Music has over 20 million subscribers.
Photo: Apple

While revenue from hardware might be relatively flat this quarter, services like the App Store, Apple Music and iCloud are becoming huge moneymakers for Apple. Analysts expect services revenue to increase to about $6.78 billion this quarter, which would be a 13.2 percent increase from the $5.99 billion services brought in during Q2 2016.