Apple profit up despite dipping iPhone sales | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 02.02.2018
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Apple profit up despite dipping iPhone sales

US tech giant Apple has reported a record-breaking final quarter of 2017. The company saw its profits soaring as stronger iPhone prices more than offset a decrease in its global smartphone sales.

Apple said its net income for the September-to-December quarter rose by 12 percent year on year to $20 billion (€16 billion).

At the same time, iPhone sales dropped by 1 million devices to 77.3 million smartphones, partly due to the fact that the new iPhone X only came out in November instead of September as previously planned. The increase in revenue despite lower sales has been credited to the rise in the price of an Apple phone, up to an average $796 compared to $695 a year ago. Turnover for the quarter came in at $88.3 billion, marking a 13-percent increase.

Eying a level balance sheet

The company hinted it might return more than half of its $285 billion in cash to shareholders, which eased investor concerns.

"Over time, we're trying to target a capital structure that is approximately net-neutral," CFO Luca Maestri told Reuters in an interview.

Morningstar Inc. analyst Brian Colello called Apple's cash plans "a pleasant surprise," saying that it "goes a bit against Apple's historically conservative capital structure."

Apple investor Trip Miller added the planned move to a level balance sheet was good news. "Let's face it; this cash has been doing nothing for us over the last six years."

hg/dwi (dpa, Reuters)

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