Apple Inc. (AAPL) First Quarter Revenue Miss Street Estimates

Apple Santa Monica Store

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) reported earnings of $18.4 billion or $3.28 per diluted share on $75.9 billion in revenue for its fiscal 2016 first quarter ended December 26, 2015. During the same period a year earlier, the iPhone maker recorded earning of $3.06 per share on $74.6 billion in revenue.

Apple’s first-quarter earnings beat the $3.23 per share average estimate of Wall Street analysts. However, its revenue missed the $76.59 billion average estimate based on data compiled by Yahoo Finance.

The iPhone maker’s gross margin was 40.1%, higher than the 39.9% in the year-ago quarter. The company shipped  74.78 million iPhones during the period, lower than the 75 million expected by analysts.

The tech giant said international sales accounted for 66% of its revenue for the period.  Apple revenue in the Americas was $29.3 billion, Europe $17.9 billion, Greater China $18.4 billion, Japan $4.8 billion and the rest of Asia Pacific $5.4 billion.

Apple services business

In a statement, Apple CEO Tim Cook, said, “Our team delivered Apple’s biggest quarter ever, thanks to the world’s most innovative products and all-time record sales of iPhone, Apple Watch and Apple TV. The growth of our Services business accelerated during the quarter to produce record results, and our installed base recently crossed a major milestone of one billion active devices.”

The tech giant’s services revenue increased 15% to $5.5 billion and installed base related revenue rose 24% $8.9 billion during the quarter.

On the other hand, CFO Luca Maestri, commented, “Our record sales and strong margins drove all-time records for net income and EPS in spite of a very difficult macroeconomic environment.” He added that the tech giant generated $27.5 billion in operating cash flow during the quarter.

The company also returned $9 billion to shareholders through dividends and stock buyback. Apple already completed returning $153 billion out of its $200 billion capital return program, according to Maestri.

Apple predicts sales decline

For the first time, Apple is predicting a sales decline in the second quarter.  The tech giant estimated to deliver revenue in the range of $50 billion to $53 billion.  Its weak outlook followed a holiday quarter with overall sales and iPhone shipments that missed the expectations of analysts.

Apple expected its second-quarter margin to be around 39% to 39.5% and operating expenses to be as much as $6.1 billion. The company estimated its tax rate at 25.5%.

The stock price of Apple declined more than 2% to $97.84 per share during the extended trading around 5:24 in the afternoon in New York.