Apple announces surprise results showing iPhone sales are growing

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Apple surprised the market with better than positive results on Thursday – even as it reported a rare decline in revenues.

It said that its overall business had improved and that sales of iPhones had continued to stay solid, beating expectations.

Some parts of Apple’s product line had suffered more, such as its Macs. But they were helped out by newly expanding other products, such as services, which encompasses offerings like its Music streaming service and Apple TV.

The surprisingly strong results saw Apple’s stock go higher in after-hours trading.

The earnings call also saw Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, address artificial intelligence. The company has stayed largely quiet about AI – amid rapid expansion at many of its rivals, and questions over whether Apple is doing enough to build it into products such as Siri.

The latest numbers come after the company in February posted its first quarterly revenue drop in nearly four years after pandemic-driven restrictions on its China factories curtailed sales of the latest iPhone during the holiday season.

Apple earned 24.16 billion US dollars (£19.2 billion), or 1.52 dollar per share, in the three-month period that ended April 1.

That was down slightly from 25.01 billion dollars (£19.9 billion), also 1.52 dollar per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell 3% to 94.84 billion dollars (£75.4 billion) from 97.28 billion (£77.4 billion).

Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of 1.43 dollars (£1.14) per share on revenue of 92.91 billion dollars (£73.9 billion), according to a poll by FactSet.

Apple said iPhone sales brought in 51.33 billion dollars (£40.8 billion) in revenue in the first quarter.

Analysts expected a more modest 48.66 billion dollars (£38.7 billion). Revenue in its key services division was 20.91 billion dollars (£16.6 billion), slightly above Wall Street’s estimates of 20.66 billion (£16.4 billion).

The company said its board has also approved a 90 billion dollar (£71.6 billion) share buyback programme and raised its regular quarterly dividend.

Shares of the Cupertino, California-based company climbed 1.93 dollars to 167.72 dollars (£132.98) in after-hours trading.

Additional reporting by agencies