What to expect from Apple’s critical holiday quarter earnings results


Apple money cash
Thursday will reveal if Apple's latest earning results snap a long slowdown in revenue.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple earning results to be announced Thursday will reveal how well the company performed financially during the all-important holiday quarter of 2023. Analysts predict that revenue stayed steady in the October-through-December timeframe compared to the same period of the previous year, but the Mac-maker will announce a jump in earnings per share.

A strong earnings report might stop a recent slide in APPL share values — the stock price dropped about 5% over the last week or so.

Apple earnings results should be generally positive

The first three quarters of 2023 were full of good news and bad for Apple. iPhone did fairly well and services (the App Store, Apple Music, etc.) grew strongly. But Mac and iPad weighed down the overall earnings results.

The December quarter will put a cherry on top of the year, as holiday shopping always brings a big boost to the company’s revenue.

For the final three months of 2023, the analyst consensus prediction for Apple revenue is about $118 billion, according to Yahoo Finance. That’s almost exactly the same as Apple brought in during the same period of 2022. But from a larger perspective, it would be an improvement — overall revenue dropped the four previous quarters in a row.

There’s more optimism about Apple earnings. The analyst consensus is $2.10 per share. That’s up significantly from the $1.88 that Apple earned in the 2022 holiday quarter.

Analysts eyeing Apple’s future growth

Apple revenue has been weak because it’s still dealing with a post-pandemic slowdown. Mac and iPad sales soared when so many people were forced to work or attend classes from home. Just a couple of years later, a great many people don’t yet need new computers.

The upgrade cycle for iPhone is apparently shorter than that, because no company sold more smartphones than Apple in 2023, according to IDC. Year-over-year growth for this product was reportedly 3.7%.

So when CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri hop on a conference call with investors Thursday after Apple releases its financial results, analysts will be looking for predictions about an upturn in Mac and iPad sales.

They’ll also be watching closely for signs of any truth to a recent prediction from a noted Apple analyst that 2024 will bring a slump in iPhone sales.

Plus, they’ll want to know if major changes coming to the App Store in the European Union will hurt services revenue, as that segment is seen as the company’s biggest hope for further growth.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.