Will Apple’s Oct. 29 earnings call bring another pandemic miracle?

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Apple Q4 2020 earnings on Oct. 29: When it comes to Apple earnings, CEO Tim Cook seems to have a reality-distortion field of his own.
When it comes to Apple earnings, CEO Tim Cook seems to operate a reality distortion field of his own.
Photo illustration: Cult of Mac

When Apple holds its fiscal Q4 2020 earnings call on Oct. 29, can the company deliver another pandemic miracle?

We’ll all find out at 2 p.m. Pacific that day, when Apple live-streams its earnings call. (Actually, we’ll undoubtedly find out a half-hour earlier than that, when Cupertino issues its press release outlining its quarterly results).

Following last quarter’s record-setting results, Wall Street will be waiting with bated breath to see if Apple once again found a way to spin gold amid the economic disaster caused by COVID-19.

As many people worked from home during the early days of the pandemic, Apple benefited from increased sales of Macs and iPads. That drove up Apple revenues by 11% over the previous year.

Following that Q3 2020 earnings surprise — and a morale-boosting 4-1 stock split, AAPL quickly climbed to new heights. However, the stock took a pounding in September as high-flying tech stocks faced a broad selloff.

Apple faces challenges due to COVID-19

This time around, Apple faces continued disruption of its retail operations as the global economy suffers from the ongoing pandemic. But Cupertino also faces an especially big challenge: The late launch of iPhone 12.

Apple reportedly will unveil this year’s smartphone lineup — the first to feature 5G cellular networking, which reportedly will drive strong demand for upgrades — at an event on Oct. 13. That means the iPhone 12 launch sales will not fall within the usual fiscal fourth quarter this year.

Sales of new iPads and Apple Watches, which launched last month, could give Apple a boost. So could possible continued growth in Apple services. However, the company declined to offer a revenue estimate for the quarter due to continued uncertainty due to COVID-19’s effects.

AAPL stock gained ground Thursday, but remained “$21.13 short of its 52-week high ($137.98), which the company achieved on September 2nd,” according to MarketWatch. The company’s market cap still sits slightly above the mind-boggling $2 trillion mark achieved earlier this year.

Apple Q4 2020 earnings call on Oct. 29

You can live-stream the earnings call from Apple’s Investor Relations page. It’s set to take place at 2 p.m. Pacific on Oct. 29.

During the earnings calls, Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri typically lay out the results, then answer questions from analysts. It will be interesting to see if they can once again serve up a pleasant pandemic surprise.