Wednesday, 23 July 2014 10:03

Apple: another quarter, another record

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Two things seem to happen every time Apple issues its quarterly results. There will be a record somewhere in the numbers, and CEO Tim Cook will be excited about future products.

Apple's third fiscal quarter results for 2014 follow a familiar pattern.

A new revenue record was set for the June quarter. At US$37.4 billion, it was up 6% year-on-year.

But revenue growth was not evenly spread. Mac sales were up 13% by revenue (18% by volume), and the iPhone business grew 9% (13% by volume). Accessory sales and iTunes, software and services revenue both grew by 12%.

On the other hand, iPad revenue was down by 8% (9% by volume), and iPod sales continue to evaporate (down 40% by revenue and 36% by volume).

And that overall 6% revenue growth was not evenly spread geographically. Greater China was the standout at 28% (no surprises there, as Apple has only recently become a player in the Chinese phone market), Europe and the remaining Asia Pacific countries managed 6% growth, while the Americas and Japan only managed to put on 1%.

As Apple's sales are very seasonal (largely driven by consumer purchases ahead of Christmas and the northern hemisphere 'back to school' period), year-on-year comparisons give a better idea of how the company is faring than sequential comparisons.

But comparing 2014's second and third quarters, revenue was down in all categories except for the Mac, which was flat despite 7% volume growth. And the Americas was the only region to report quarterly revenue growth (2%).

“Our record June quarter revenue was fueled by strong sales of iPhone and Mac and the continued growth of revenue from the Apple ecosystem, driving our highest EPS growth rate in seven quarters,” said Mr Cook.

“We are incredibly excited about the upcoming releases of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, as well as other new products and services that we can’t wait to introduce.”

CFO Luca Maestri noted that Apple returned over US$8 billion in cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases during the quarter, which means the company is US$74 billion into its US$130 billion capital return program. Apple will need to continue to return around $US8 billion per quarter to complete the program on schedule.

Apple declared a 47c cash dividend.

Image incorporates a photo by 2bgr8 (CC BY 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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