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5 upbeat takeaways from Apple’s optimistic earnings call

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A rainbow Apple logo looms over a cloudy sky with the sun peeking through. The words
Wall Street might not be happy right now, but Apple sees strong growth ahead.
Image: Cult of Mac, based on photos by Aaron Burden and Sumudu Mohottige/Unsplash License

Although Apple’s December 2022 quarter was something of a disappointment, thanks to declines in revenue and profits, company executives accentuated the positives whenever possible during an earnings call with investors on Thursday.

Here are some upbeat developments coming out of Apple’s Q1 2023 financial results, including a significant milestone in active users and a big jump in iPad revenue.

Apple surpasses 2 billion active devices

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A Mac, iPhone and iPad with the words
Apple continues to woo new users and passes another milestone: 2 billion active devices as of February 2023.
Photo: Oleg Ivanov/Unsplash License

Apple’s installed base now exceeds 2 billion active devices, CEO Tim Cook said during Thursday’s earnings call. Although revenue in Apple’s first quarter fell $6.7 billion short of last year’s, the continued growth helped the company achieve what Cook called “a truly incredible milestone.”

Apple’s holiday quarter comes in worse than expected

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Apple logo with the text
$117.2 billion in revenue seems like a lot of money, but Wall Street expected more from Apple
Image: Cult of Mac

Apple’s financial results from the December 2022 quarter include revenue and earnings per share that declined compared to the same period of the previous year. The figures did not live up to analysts’ expectations, which is dropping the share price.

Still, CEO Tim Cook stayed positive: “As we all continue to navigate a challenging environment, we are proud to have our best lineup of products and services ever, and as always, we remain focused on the long term and are leading with our values in everything we do.”

Wall Street thinks Apple is just limping along

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Wall Street thinks Apple is just limping along
While the final quarter of 2022 looks to have been a poor one for Apple, the future looks brighter.
Photo: Anna Nekrashevich/Pexels

Analysts don’t expect to be wowed when Apple announces the results of its most recent financial quarter Thursday. They predict the company’s revenue declined slightly during the October-through-December period.

Feeding into the prediction is the struggle Apple had meeting iPhone demand during the quarter, which a top market-analysis firm says could have caused a double-digit drop in shipments. Plus, Apple broke tradition by not introducing new Macs.

Huge jump in Mac revenue propels Apple to another record-breaking quarter

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Apple MacBook cash dollars money
A 25% increase in Mac sales helped Apple beat analysts' expectations during the September quarter.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple pulled in record revenue during the July-through-September quarter: $90.1 billion, an increase of 8% over the same period of last year. That’s $1.29 in earnings per share, a 4% annual bump. Most of Apple’s signature products experienced revenue growth.

“Our record September quarter results continue to demonstrate our ability to execute effectively in spite of a challenging and volatile macroeconomic backdrop,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO.

Why Apple is (nearly) recession-proof

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Apple’s financial results were all the company could ask for.
Analysts expect consumers to keep buying Apple products, no matter what the global economy does.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

Although economists can’t agree whether a global recession is on the way, it’s definitely a possibility. But Apple execs don’t seem to have a lot to worry about – market analysts remain generally upbeat about the company.

Here are comments from a range of experts that are sure to warm Apple CEO Tim Cook’s heart.

Lightning strikes for Apple again, but storm clouds are on the horizon

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Apple warns that supply chain constraints will take a heavy toll in coming months.
Apple warns that supply chain constraints will take a heavy toll in coming months.
Photo: Raychel Sanner/Unsplash License/Cult of Mac

The first three months of 2022 were good to Apple, with revenue setting a quarterly record. But the company warned on Thursday that problems getting components and assembling products will take a nasty chunk out of revenue for the current quarter. The hit will to be between $4 billion and $8 billion.

But there’s also plenty of good news in from the conference call CEO Tim Cook had with investors after Apple’s March quarter results were announced.

Wall Street watches to see how Apple handles global challenges

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Apple MacBook cash dollars money
We'll discover on Thursday how Apple did during Q1 2022. Analysts are moderatly optimistic.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Wall Street analysts harbor modest hopes for Apple’s most-recent financial quarter. They predict the company saw its revenue rise by 5% versus the same quarter of 2021.

The iPhone-maker will announce the results of the January-through-March period ahead of Thursday’s quarterly earnings call. Investors will be looking closely to see how the company is managing the ongoing chip shortage, COVID-19 lockdowns at assembly plants, inflation and other challenges.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs says Apple is finally debt-free

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Apple is worth more than the entire US energy sector combined
This was a significant moment in Apple's turnaround.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

February 18: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs says Apple is finally debt-free February 18, 2004: Steve Jobs sends an internal memo to Apple employees revealing that the company is, for the first time in years, totally debt-free.

“Today is a historic day of sorts for our company,” he writes. This marks a big turnaround from the bad old days of the 1990s, when Apple carried more than $1 billion in debt — and faced the danger of bankruptcy.