Apple suffers first quarterly sales drop since 2003

Posted on Wednesday, Apr 27 2016 @ 13:35 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
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While Apple is still one of the most profitable companies in the world, the iPhone Company's fortunes are turning as it's suffering from a big collapse in sales. The firm pulled in a fiscal Q2 2016 revenue of $50.6 billion and net income of $10.50 billion, or $1.90 per diluted share, a stark decline from the $58 billion in sales and $13.6 billion in net income, or $2.33 per share, it earned a year ago.

The downturn was worse than analysts had anticipated, Apple missed the earnings per share forecast by $0.10 and missed the revenue forecast by $1.37 billion. Furthermore, things aren't expected to improve anytime soon as Apple estimates fiscal 2016 third quarter revenue will come in at between $41 billion and $43 billion, significantly less than the $49.6 billion in sales it recorded a year ago and also much less than the $47 billion consensus by Wall Street analysts.

Apple's remarkable growth story came to an abrupt halt as the company is now going through its first sales drop since 2003! Sales of all major product categories are down by double digits, iPhone sales fell 16 percent, iPad is down 19 percent and the Mac lineup is down 12 percent. For Apple, the hunt is on to introduce the next big thing as its blockbusters are no longer growing and new products like the iWatch failed to fill the gap.

As a result of the bigger than expected drop in sales, Apple shares plunged 7.71 percent to $96.35 in after-hours trading. Here's the full report from Apple:
Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2016 second quarter ended March 26, 2016. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $50.6 billion and quarterly net income of $10.5 billion, or $1.90 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $58 billion and net income of $13.6 billion, or $2.33 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 39.4 percent compared to 40.8 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 67 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

“Our team executed extremely well in the face of strong macroeconomic headwinds,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We are very happy with the continued strong growth in revenue from Services, thanks to the incredible strength of the Apple (AAPL) ecosystem and our growing base of over one billion active devices.”

The Company also announced that its Board of Directors has authorized an increase of $50 billion to the Company’s program to return capital to shareholders. Under the expanded program, Apple plans to spend a cumulative total of $250 billion of cash by the end of March 2018.

“We generated strong operating cash flow of $11.6 billion and returned $10 billion to shareholders through our capital return program during the March quarter,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “Thanks to the strength of our business results, we are happy to be announcing today a further increase of the program to $250 billion.”

As part of the updated program, the Board has increased its share repurchase authorization to $175 billion from the $140 billion level announced last year. The Company also expects to continue to net-share-settle vesting restricted stock units.

The Board has approved an increase of 10 percent to the Company’s quarterly dividend, and has declared a dividend of $.57 per share, payable on May 12, 2016 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 9, 2016.

From the inception of its capital return program in August 2012 through March 2016, Apple has returned over $163 billion to shareholders, including $117 billion in share repurchases.

The Company plans to continue to access the domestic and international debt markets to assist in funding the program. The management team and the Board will continue to review each element of the capital return program regularly and plan to provide an update on the program on an annual basis.

Apple is providing the following guidance for its fiscal 2016 third quarter:
  • revenue between $41 billion and $43 billion
  • gross margin between 37.5 percent and 38 percent
  • operating expenses between $6 billion and $6.1 billion
  • other income/(expense) of $300 million
  • tax rate of 25.5 percent

  • About the Author

    Thomas De Maesschalck

    Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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