Apple Expected to Report Strong Summer Revenue of $50B+ as Focus Shifts to iPhone X Launch Quarter

Apple BondsApple is set to report its earnings results for the fourth quarter of its 2017 fiscal year at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time today.

The fiscal quarter reflects Apple's sales between July 2 and September 30 of 2017.

Apple provided the following guidance for its fourth quarter back on August 1:

• revenue between $49 billion and $52 billion
• gross margin between 37.5 and 38 percent
• operating expenses between $6.7 billion and $6.8 billion
• other income/expense of $500 million
• tax rate of 25.5 percent

Apple's guidance suggests the company will report at least its second best fourth quarter earnings results in its history.

Wall Street analysts forecast that Apple will report $50.7 billion revenue and earnings per share of $1.87, according to 29 estimates averaged by Thomson Reuters.

A quarter-by-quarter look at Apple's revenue since the 2009 fiscal year:

Fourth Quarter Revenue
• 2013: $37.5B
• 2014: $42.1B
• 2015: $51.5B
• 2016: $46.9B
2017: $49B+

Screen Shot 2016 10 25 at 4
MacRumors.com compiled fourth quarter estimates from several financial institutions and analysts tracking Apple and the company's stock. The figures are listed below, ranked from highest to lowest in quarterly revenue.

aapl 4q17 earnings preview
Apple's fourth quarter earnings results will provide the first official indication of how well the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 are selling. The devices became available to pre-order on September 15, just over two weeks before the quarter ended, and launched in stores one week later on September 22.

Multiple reports have suggested that demand for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus has been tepid, but that could be a side effect of pent up demand for the iPhone X. Apple staggered the release of its high-end smartphone, for which pre-orders began October 27, nearly six weeks after the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

The most interesting takeaway will be Apple's guidance for the quarter we're in right now, which encompasses the launch of the iPhone X and the busy holiday shopping season. Over the past year, analysts have repeatedly predicted the highly-anticipated device will drive a significant "supercycle" of upgrades.

A high guidance range would suggest that Apple expects the iPhone X to sell very well, while a lower one would suggest that either demand is lower than thought or that Apple continues to face issues with ramping up supply of the device.

In addition to iPhone sales, investors will be looking for continued growth of Apple's services category, which includes the likes of the App Store, iTunes Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, AppleCare, and licensing fees. Apple's services revenue grew 22 percent to an all-time record of $7.3 billion last quarter.

Apple's services category has become the size of a Fortune 100 company, according to chief executive Tim Cook.

Cook and Apple's financial chief Luca Maestri will discuss the company's earnings results on a conference call at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time. MacRumors.com will transcribe the call as it unfolds for those unable to listen.

Tags: AAPL, Earnings

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Top Rated Comments

bbeagle Avatar
86 months ago
The slow death of the iPod continues.
The iPod is being reborn as the Apple Watch.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
udayan81 Avatar
86 months ago
Apple is doomed. Only $49B :P
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MLVC Avatar
86 months ago
I'm just hoping they'll announce Apple Pay for the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Poland etc. today. Fingers crossed!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Winni Avatar
86 months ago
Apple is doomed. Only $49B :p
As with IBM, Microsoft and many of the other big players... The problem lies not in the financial corner. It has something to do with RELEVANCE. I remember the time when the IT industry was afraid of IBM, and Microsoft was just another insignificant startup and Apple was - literally! - nowhere to be seen. Then came the rise of the PC clones and with it the rise of Microsoft. And Apple was still insignificant, because the world was now using Windows. The rise of the Internet changed all that, and then mobile gadgets turned the classic desktop into an almost irrelevant afterthought. We're now in a phase where market for mobile gadgets has matured AND saturated. It won't be long before the next big thing emerges, and the game - and with it the dominant player - will change again. In the meanwhile, companies are still buying IBM services and Microsoft Windows desktops and consumers are still buying Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. Those companies still make a ton of money. However, dominating tomorrow's technology they don't...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djcerla Avatar
86 months ago
The prices on Apple products are getting out of control under Tim Cook. At some point there will be a backlash, it's only a matter of time.
In related news, you can now buy the cheapest iPhone and lPad ever.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djcerla Avatar
86 months ago
If Apple has a beat here it will be quite impressive given how it's believed the iPhone 8 sold so slowly. It would likely mean a lot of iMacs and iPads were sold last quarter. That would be fantastic news. What I hope does not happen (as a fan, not investor) is that the services side eclipses Mac revenue. That would make me sad.
Start thinking about the iPhone as a lineup rather than a year model.

The lineup got much cheaper after the introduction of the iPhone 8, and economics laws are still in place afaik,
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)