What to watch for in Apple’s earning report


Wall Street thinks Apple is just limping along
Be ready for Apple to reveal on Thursday how much it took in during the July-through-September period.
Photo: Anna Nekrashevich/Pexels

When Apple reports the results of its most recent financial quarter later on Thursday, look for Mac and iPad to be a drag on the company’s revenue. Still, analysts are upbeat about the company’s earnings.

Investors will also be watching closely, especially considering AAPL shares are down 9% since the company last reported financial results in August.

Expect Apple to report weak Mac and iPad sales

Working and taking classes from home during the pandemic required a surge in computer sales. But with all that behind us, many people are still using the Macs and iPads they bought back in 2020 and 2021. That’s part of the reason why analysts think Apple will report slow sales of macOS and iPadOS devices during the July-through-September period.

In addition, the Apple M2 processor in the latest Macs isn’t a huge improvement over the M1, which is apparently leading to tepid sales. Plus, Apple did not introduce any new iPad models at all in 2023, lowering tablet demand.

Judging iPhone 15 demand is more difficult. Some reports claim sales of the handsets that hit the market in September are doing well, but others say sales are slumping. We’ll find out for sure later today.

And we’ll get an update on the Services category, which is likely to be Apple’s main source of growth in the future. It’s been doing fairly well so far this year.

Analysts overall predictions

Polls of analysts find that they expect Apple to (on average) report revenue of $89 billion in the September quarter, according to Investors Business Daily. That’s a 1% decline when compared to the same quarter of last year. But they also think the company profits to be up 8% to $1.39 a share.

Much of the attention will be on what CEO Tim Cook and other executives say about the rest of the calendar year. The holiday shopping season is always Apple’s strongest — and most important.

It’s possible the newly announced MacBook Pro and iMac models running the faster M3 processor will bring a surge of sales to macOS notebooks and desktops. And this will be the first full quarter in which the iPhone 15 series is available.

iPad is unlikely to have a turnaround in 2023, though. No new tablets from Apple are expected until March 2024.

Stay tuned for the results of Apple’s most recent financial quarter, which will come later on Thursday, after Wall Street closes.


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