Apple's Tim Cook says iPhone 12 'off to a great start' as earnings top expectations

Mac sales set an all-time record

Apple CEO Tim Cook expressed optimism about early sales data for its flagship iPhone 12 as the tech giant reported fourth-quarter earnings that topped Wall Street’s expectations on Thursday.

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Sales of the iPhone have long comprised the bulk of Apple’s revenue. The latest model went on sale Oct. 23 and is the first Apple smartphone to utilize 5G network technology.

“I can tell you that we're off to a great start and I couldn't be happier with how they're going,” Cook told FOX Business Network's Susan Li. He pointed out that Apple has “only got five days of data” so far.

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The iPhone 12 did not factor into Apple’s results for the fourth quarter, which ended in September. The tech giant reported adjusted earnings of 73 cents per share for the fourth quarter, beating the 70 cents expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv data. Quarterly revenue was $64.7 billion, topping Apple’s record for the period ending in September as well as Wall Street’s projections.

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AAPLAPPLE INC.115.25+1.41+1.23%

The company did not provide guidance for the first quarter. Apple has refrained from forecasting sales in recent quarters due to uncertainty related to the pandemic.

Revenue from iPhone sales in the fourth quarter was $26.4 billion, a total that fell short of expectations ahead of the new model's release.

Apple shares fell nearly four percent in after-hours trading yet have gained over 57% this year.

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“Our outstanding September quarter performance concludes a remarkable fiscal year, where we established new all-time records for revenue, earnings per share, and free cash flow, in spite of an extremely volatile and challenging macro environment,” Apple CFO Luca Maestri said in a press release.

Apple executives have emphasized growth in the services segment, which includes the iCloud, Apple Card and Apple Pay, as well as the company’s news, music and entertainment offerings. The unit recorded revenue of $14.5 billion for the quarter.

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The Mac platform generated $9 billion and the iPad platform generated $6.8 billion. Wearables, including the AirPod and Apple Watch, generated $7.9 billion in sales.

“We set an all-time record for the Mac, an all-time record for services and we set a September quarter record for wearables,” Cook added. “We set quarter records for Americas, Europe and the rest of Asia Pac, and India had a September quarter record thanks in part to a strong reception to our online store launch, which happened during the summer.”

Cook added that sales in the Greater China region “beat our internal expectations.”

The company announced a cash dividend of $0.205 per share of common stock. The dividend will be paid out on Nov. 12.

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