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Apple earnings show surprise jump in iPhone sales and a 4% dividend hike

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Apple Inc. on Thursday revealed surprise growth in its iPhone business during the first three months of the year, overcoming a shortfall in Mac revenue as the company promised investors billions more in dividends and stock repurchases.

Apple
AAPL,
-0.99%

shares gained between 1% and 2% in after-hours trading immediately following the release of the results.

The company reported fiscal second-quarter revenue of $94.8 billion, down from $97.3 billion a year before, while analysts had been expecting $92.9 billion. Revenue for the iPhone category rose to $51.3 billion from $50.6 billion, with analysts surveyed by FactSet expecting a decline to $48.7 billion.

Apple logged net income of $24.2 billion, or $1.52 a share, compared with $25 billion, or $1.52 a share, in the year-prior quarter. Analysts were modeling $1.43 a share in earnings on average, per FactSet.

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Apple’s results arrived amid concern about the state of consumer-electronics spending, given worrisome third-party data points and cautious signals from players like Qualcomm Inc.
QCOM,
-5.54%

and DuPont de Nemours Inc.
DD,
-0.53%

The company saw steep revenue declines in both the iPad and Mac categories. Sales of iPads fell to $6.7 billion from $7.6 billion and matched the FactSet consensus. Mac revenue sank to $7.2 billion from $10.4 billion, while analysts were looking for $7.8 billion.

Apple’s wearables, home and accessories category was essentially flat, with sales of $8.8 billion. The FactSet consensus called for $8.4 billion. The services segment showed growth, with revenue up to $20.9 billion from $19.8 billion roughly in line with the FactSet consensus of $21.0 billion.

See also: Qualcomm stock falls as backed up Apple iPhone inventory contributes to weak outlook

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Apple also announced Thursday that it was boosting its buyback program by $90 billion while upping its quarterly dividend by 4% to 24 cents a share. That compares to a $90 billion increase to the share-repurchase authorization and 5% dividend hike a year ago.

The company hasn’t offered traditional guidance since the pandemic began, and it stuck with this practice in Thursday’s release. Executives may offer more qualitative signals on the company’s earnings call that could determine the ultimate direction of Apple’s shares.

“The eventual outcome might be simply driven by [fiscal third-quarter] guidance, where investors might be looking for assurance and visibility into limited downside despite a tough macro, even if it comes down to assuring that revenue declines do not deteriorate further than the -5% moderation that investors are already expecting,” JPMorgan’s Samik Chatterjee said in a note to clients prior to the report.



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