Apple released its second quarter earnings report on Tuesday after the markets closed and narrowly beat expectations. The company posted earnings per share of $1.85 and revenue of $49.6 billion. While these figures did beat expectations of $1.81 and $49.43 billion, the stock traded as much as 7% yesterday in after-hours trading as investors were unimpressed by the smallest EPS beat in two years. The recent quarter is traditionally the company’s weakest, but guidance for the coming quarter was also short of expectations leading to the selloff.
Recent estimates have Apple receiving 92% of all profits among the top eight smartphone makers in the mobile smartphone market during the first quarter. This is according to Canaccord Genuity managing director Mike Walkley, and is up from 65% last year due to the overwhelming success of the iPhone 6. Its share of profits is incredible considering it sells less than 20% of all smartphone units, highlighting the company’s ability to command higher prices for its superior products. Now, it appears that Apple believes it will continue to sell its iPhones at a breakneck pace.
Apple will not release its next earnings report until roughly a month from now, but analysts are already trying to figure out how the company performed for the quarter ending in June. iPhone sales estimates are coming in over 50 million devices sold, a remarkable figure considering the amount of phones it sold in the previous quarters. Further, it appears that demand for the Apple Watch is not falling off, and it is well above that of the first generation iPhone.
According to a research note from Piper Jaffray, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models will not go through the lull that previous models’ sales have gone through in the June and September reports, as this model is ‘fundamentally different’ than previous Apple devices. With a larger screen and more success in international markets, this version of the smart phone should have higher than expected sales throughout 2015.
The latest numbers for iPhone sales in China show its market share has risen to 27.6% from December to February, up from 25% in the November to January period. Year-over-year, Apple’s overall market share increased 9.7 percentage points, surpassing local brand Xiaomi for the first time as the top smartphone maker in the market. The iPhone 6 is the most popular smartphone, while the iPhone 6 Plus is the third most popular.
Apple has now officially expanded its trade-in program to include non-Apple devices, as rumors hinted at months earlier. The company will now let customers trade in Android, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone smartphones in exchange for credit towards an iPhone. The trade-in program is limited to several smartphone models made by Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony, Blackberry, and Nokia.
The latest rumors surrounding Apple claim that the world’s largest company is planning on releasing three new iPhone models during its annual refresh cycle in the second half of the year. One of these iPhones will have a 4″ display, just like the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s had. This model will be an entry-level product, and will placate some longtime users who preferred the smaller screen compared to the much larger displays of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Apple Inc. (AAPL) enjoyed an extraordinary year in 2014, as the stock price climbed more than 70% over the past year. The surging stock price has been driven by incredible sales of its newest iPhone, as the company sold over 74 million units last quarter. Apple made $18 billion in profit that quarter, more than any company had in corporate history.
With so much growth over the past year, investors understandably might believe that the company has saturated the smartphone market and does not have much room left to grow. They are wrong, however, as Apple’s stock price will continue to rise in 2015. Continued success with the iPhone, a revamped iPad strategy and new products offer plenty of room for growth, while the stock is actually still priced relatively cheaply.
In May of 2013, a company called Smartflash sued Apple for infringing six of its patents pertaining to data storage and management. Last week, a jury ruled that Apple was guilty of infringing on three of those patents in the creation and sale of iTunes. Apple was ordered to pay Smartflash, a company that merely serves as a patent holder and licensor that does not manufacture its own products, $532.9 million.