How Apple is spreading the wealth: $102 billion boon for shareholders

How Apple is spreading the wealth: $102 billion boon for shareholders

Kenneth Drake
May 3, 2018

Apple revenue rose 16 per cent to $61.1 billion in the fiscal second quarter, the fastest growth in more than two years.

The iPhone X launched in November 2017 and starting at $1,000 and topping out at $1,150 it's Apple's most expensive handset ever.

Apple introduced the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus on September 22 previous year and its most expensive smartphone, the iPhone X, on November 3.

The analyst's comments came shortly after Apple announced that it returned $248.4 billion to shareholders in the last quarter. Even though the quarter ending March didn't include sales of the firm's new edu-focused iPad, Apple boasted that it increased its share of the global tablet market during the quarter, with the number of active iPad users reaching an all-time high. The increase in revenue also led to a 25 per cent leap in profits to $13.8bn.

Apple sold 52.2 million iPhones in the second quarter of 2018, which was down 32 per cent from the first quarter of this year when it had sold 77.3 million iPhones but up only three per cent from the second quarter of 2017 when it had sold 50.7 million units.

In addition, the tech innovator announced a $100 billion share buyback programme after reporting a $145 billion cash pile in the previous earnings report, following the changes to the USA tax system in 2017.

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Apple is also spending heavily as its R&D costs rose in the quarter, and it is giving away huge amounts of money back to investors.

"We're thrilled to report our best March quarter ever, with strong revenue growth in iPhone, Services and Wearables", said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO.

Apple sold 52.2 million iPhones during the first quarter of 2018 and posted estimate-beating revenue and earnings per share on Tuesday, dismissing Wall Street's worry over the impact of weakening iPhone X sales on Apple's bottom line. "I don't buy the view that the market's saturated", Cook said.

Timothy D. Cook, Apple's chief executive, hit back at the notion that the iPhone business, which accounts for 62 percent of the company's overall revenue, had little room to grow.

Huberty did flag China's strong App Store performance, which was likely a key reason behind the company's impressive results in the region. Cook also said Apple was narrowing its search for a new campus and expects to add some 20,000 jobs in the United States over the next five years.

Along with the new authorization, the Board of Directors has also approved a 16% increase in the company's quarterly dividend.