Apple reports best September fiscal quarter ever

Apple has announced financial results for its fiscal 2018 fourth quarter that ended Sept. 29, 2018. The company posted quarterly revenue of $62.9 billion, an increase of 20% from the year-ago quarter, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $2.91, up 41%.

Apple sold 46.9 million iPhones, up from 46.7 million in the year-ago quarter. iPad sales fell to 9.7 million, down from 10.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Mac sales dipped slightly to 5.3 million from 5.4 million. 

International sales accounted for 61% of the quarter’s revenue. Services revenue reached an all-time high of $10 billion. Excluding a one-time favorable adjustment of $640 million recognized in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, Services revenue grew from $7.9 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 to $10 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, an increase of 27%.

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“We’re thrilled to report another record-breaking quarter that caps a tremendous fiscal 2018, the year in which we shipped our two billionth iOS device, celebrated the 10th anniversary of the App Store and achieved the strongest revenue and earnings in Apple’s history,” says CEO Tim Cook. “Over the past two months, we’ve delivered huge advancements for our customers through new versions of iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad and Mac as well as our four operating systems, and we enter the holiday season with our strongest lineup of products and services ever.”

“We concluded a record year with our best September quarter ever, growing double digits in every geographic segment. We set September quarter revenue records for iPhone and Wearables and all-time quarterly records for Services and Mac,” adds Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri. “We generated $19.5 billion in operating cash flow and returned over $23 billion to shareholders in dividends and share repurchases in the September quarter, bringing total capital returned in fiscal 2018 to almost $90 billion.”

Apple is providing the following guidance for its fiscal 2019 first quarter: revenue between $89 billion and $93 billion; gross margin between 38% and 38.5%; operating expenses between $8.7 billion and $8.8 billion; other income/(expense) of $300 million; and a tax rate of approximately 16.5% before discrete items.

Apple’s board of directors has declared a cash dividend of $0.73 per share of the company’s common stock. The dividend is payable on Nov. 15, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Nov. 12.