x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Apple bites back but investors lose their appetite

Apple's record earnings, revenue of more than US$20 billion, and even a public dig against its rival BlackBerry failed to lift the spirits of investors yesterday.

Apple's record earnings, revenue of more than US$20 billion (Dh73.46bn), and even a public dig against its rival BlackBerry failed to lift the spirits of investors yesterday, with shares in the iPhone maker falling 3.6 per cent in early trading.

The Silicon Valley giant reported earnings of $4.31bn for its fourth quarter, up from $2.53bn in the same period last year. Revenue soared by 67 per cent to $20.3bn from $12.2bn, Apple said in its earnings statement.

Slow sales of the iPad touchscreen device, however, prompted yesterday's pre-market slump in Apple's NASDAQ-listed shares. Sales of the touchscreen device amounted to 4.2 million units, below the 5 million forecast by analysts.

Steve Jobs, the chief executive of Apple, made a rare citation of the BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) during a conference call with analysts. He said Apple had sold 14.1 million iPhones in the last quarter, exceeding RIM's 12.1 million BlackBerry shipments.

But the sales of the new iPad device "came below high expectations", said Mike Abramsky, the managing director of global equity at RBC Capital Markets.

Analysts also said Apple's profit margin was below Wall Street's expectations.

However, Mr Abramsky was bullish on the future sales of the iPad, saying "a strong pending holiday season [is] expected as a catalyst".

"Despite pending competition … we foresee sustained global share gains in three large, under-penetrated markets - iPhone, iPad, Mac - via sustained product leadership," he said.

After the pre-market period, Apple's share price was tracking down by 2.4 per cent yesterday.

* with agencies