MarketWatch First Take: Apple’s ‘forecast’ suggests worst stretch for sales growth since 2016, but stock is still headed higher

by | May 4, 2023 | Stock Market

Apple Inc.’s investors showed enthusiasm after the company beat on earnings Thursday and announced billions more dollars on their way to shareholders, but they may have missed some important guidance. Apple
shares gained more than 2% in after-hours trading Thursday, as iPhone sales grew unexpectedly and analysts heaped praise on the most valuable U.S. company — Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities called the earnings “LeBron-like results,” referring to basketball legend LeBron James, while CFRA Research’s Angelo Zino called Apple a “safe haven for investors” amid a dividend hike and a new share-repurchase plan.

But revenue still declined year over year, falling to $94.8 billion from $97.3 billion. And executives predicted that sales would decline yet again in the current quarter, which would be the third consecutive quarter of revenue declines, something Apple has not experienced since 2016. While Apple stopped giving official financial guidance during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and has not resumed the practice, Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri indicated in the conference call that another revenue decline is anticipated. “We expect our June quarter year-over-year revenue performance to be similar to the March quarter, assuming that the macroeconomic outlook does not worsen from w …

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