Apple beats expectations as tech companies struggle in slow economy | Apple
Apple reported stronger-than-expected earnings and sales, with iPhone demand holding steady even amid inflation and the challenges of an economic downturn.
Sales and earnings for the quarter were $83 billion and $1.20 per share, Apple said, beating Wall Street expectations. The report is a positive sign for the company, which earlier this year lost its status as the world’s most valuable company to oil giant Saudi Aramco. Shares of the company rose 2.6% after hours in response to the news.
Apple CEO Tim Cook described the quarter as a reflection of the company’s “resilience and optimism” and said it managed to deliver better-than-expected results despite supply constraints and the effects of the company’s suspension of sales in Russia.
There has been no slowdown in iPhone demand, Apple chief financial officer Luca Maestri told Reuters. Apple reported iPhone sales of $40.7 billion, up about 3% from a year earlier and well ahead of the overall global smartphone market. The firm’s loyal and affluent customer base has enabled it to weather economic downturns better than some other businesses in the past.
But the slowing economy is hurting sales of advertising, accessories and home products, Maestri said.
“Fortunately, we have a very broad portfolio, so we know we’re going to be able to navigate it,” he said.
Parts shortages will continue to limit Mac and iPad sales, Maestri said, although the impact has waned.
“As a largely hardware company, Apple is arguably more directly exposed to supply chain issues than other tech giants reporting earnings this week, but it also has a growing services business that is an important part of its diversification strategy, so it has flexibility in its model,” Tom Johnson, global digital director at Mindshare Worldwide, said of Apple’s quarterly results.
In April, Apple warned that it expected slower growth despite its stronger-than-expected quarterly results. The company has struggled with Covid shutdowns at factories in China and a shortage of computer chips.
Apple has managed to maintain greater stability than other tech giants that have announced hiring slowdowns and layoffs. But the company plans to slow hiring and spending next year in a bid to be more cautious as an expected recession looms, Bloomberg reported this month.
“Apple’s decision reflects a broader downturn in investment in new things, new businesses and new products,” Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners, told Reuters. “That means inflation is a problem for these companies.”
Google, Microsoft and Meta have announced plans to slow hiring or cut jobs. Tesla’s Elon Musk said the company would cut 10% of its workforce while Netflix, which lost 1 million subscribers earlier this year, laid off 300 employees.
After posting record profits during the pandemic, the industry as a whole has struggled for months amid rising interest rates, inflation and sluggish economic growth. The technology-focused Nasdaq composite index has already fallen 26% this year.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, posted higher revenue than last year, suggesting the company could weather a slow economy better than expected. Meanwhile, Meta said it expected its first drop in revenue since the company went public.
Reuters contributed to this report