After supply issues and a slowing economy impacted iPhone sales, Apple Inc. posted its poorest holiday performance in four years, revealing flaws in one of tech’s most resilient corporations.
Apple’s biggest sales quarter of the year, the December quarter, had a 5.5% decline in revenue to $117.2 billion, far shy of the $121.1 billion consensus Wall Street projection. Apple saw its first quarterly decrease since the beginning of 2019 and failed analysts’ expectations for holiday sales for the first time since 2015.
Following the announcement, the shares fell as much as 5.6% in late trading; however, they were able to recover part of those losses as Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook mentioned a recovery in China, which is undergoing a Covid-19 regulatory relaxation. The iPhone and Mac were two products that Apple struggled with last quarter due to a larger decline affecting desktops and mobile devices. Apple’s problems were made worse by the Covid restrictions in China, which made it more difficult to export enough of the most popular iPhone models. Another problem was timing: the business missed the end of the holiday quarter by delaying the release of new Macs and HomePods until recent weeks.
On a conference call, Cook added, “We know that Apple is not immune to it. The globe continues to face unprecedented circumstances, from inflation to the war in Eastern Europe to the persistent effects of the epidemic.” But no matter what the circumstances, we always take the same approach. We are deliberate and thoughtful.
The fiscal first quarter, which concluded on December 31, saw earnings of $1.88 per share. Comparatively, the average expectation for the share price was $1.94.
In keeping with the strategy it established at the beginning of the season in 2020, the Cupertino, California-based technology giant did not offer a specific outlook for the second quarter, although it did set forth certain expectations.
Apple predicted that its March quarter performance would be similar to its January quarter performance. This suggests that a revenue reduction of approximately 5% from $97.3 billion a year ago may be in the cards. On the plus side, the business predicted that iPhone revenue will increase and services revenue would accelerate in the March quarter. The Mac and iPad, though, are probably on the decline.
In New York, Apple stock ended the day up 3.7% at $150.82. This year, they have increased by 16%. Apple’s revenue from the iPhone in the quarter was $65.8 billion, falling short of the forecast of $68.3 billion. Additionally, it reflects a decrease from the $71.6 billion the product generated the previous year.