The company, flush with a huge cash pile on strong earnings enhanced by the U.S. tax cut plan of a year ago, announced US$100 billion in new share buybacks plus a 16 percent boost to its quarterly dividend.
Those two forces pushed up Apple shares by 4 percent after hours. "The $100 Billion buyback is fine presently but it is not precisely what needs to be done in future". The iPhone revenues skyrocketed 14% YoY even though sales increased by just 2.9%. That brings the overall segment to the size of a Fortune 300 company, Cook said, which is crucial for Apple as it looks to build out its ecosystem and further tie together its devices and services. Other products from the company, such as Apple Watch and the HomePod smart speaker were added into the "others" category, which had $3.9 billion in revenue for the quarter.
Apple announced its second-quarter earnings of fiscal 2018 late Tuesday, edging above consensus analysts' estimates.
Apple CEO Tim Cook recognised the low share that the smartphone maker has in India, a market where it reported record revenue growth in the first six months of its fiscal year and whose expanding middle class and expansion into 4G offers a strong growth opportunity amid slowing global demand for the devices.
Still, the iPhone remains Apple's most critical product, making up almost 70 percent of its total revenue - which is why any hint that Apple smartphone sales are weakening prompts panic among investors.
Roughly $400 billion worth of Apple stock changed hands in that March quarter, and the company's gross purchases would account for between 5 percent and 6 percent of that. He noted that top seller status has been true in the USA every week since the iPhone X launch, and was true in greater China during the quarter ending last month. Revenue growth in the March quarter though was up a "very strong" 20% on year in emerging markets such as India, said CFO Luca Maestri, nearly at par with the 21% year-on-year growth in the Greater China region, the highest in the last 10 quarters. Share buybacks, which are reaching record levels, are great for investors, including executives and employees, because they reliably lift stock prices by limiting the supply of shares forsale. On Tuesday, he said that Apple's forecast for the June quarter "was much better than feared" and would be a "major relief" for investors. That pledge implies Apple has $163 billion to spend, in addition to the roughly $60 billion in cash flow that now accumulates annually from its ongoing sales. The iPhone X was Apple's best-selling smartphone throughout the quarter. And its good to know that the higher that percentage, the more the company retains on each dollar of sales, to service its other costs and the debt obligations, and Apple Inc. This is an increase of 1.4 million iPhones sold compared to its second quarter sales of 2017.
"We'd rather have companies invest within themselves and grow the business", Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank, said last week.
After a solid quarter that quashed most concerns about a slowdown, eyes will now turn to the next generation of iPhones to be launched in September.