Apple hits record high as it reveals it made $10.7 BILLION in the last three months and sales forecasts ease fears of iPhone X shortages


Apple revealed it made $10.7bn in the last three months and now has more than $368 billion in cash as it released its latest financial results. Crucially the firm's revenue forecast for the holiday shopping-quarter was above expectations, helping allay investor concerns about production delays and supply constraints for the iPhone X, which it will start shipping tomorrow.

Apple opened pre-orders for the iPhone X on Oct. 27 and has said demand has been 'off the charts,' leading to fears of major shortages. Apple shares rose 3.4 percent in after-hours trading to hit a fresh all-time high. 'As we speak, the launch of iPhone X is underway,' said CEO Tim Cook. 'We're working to get iPhone X into customers hands as quickly as possible.

'The ramp for iPhone X is going well, we're really happy we are able to increase week by week what we are outputting.' Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri told Reuters on Thursday the company was 'quite happy' with how manufacturing of the iPhone X was progressing, noting that 'production is growing every week, and that´s very, very important during a ramp period.'

Analysts have been eager to see whether Apple will be able to balance supply and demand for the iPhone X during the crucial holiday quarter, with most saying it will likely take Apple until next year or early spring to do so. 'Where the demand curve and supply curve are going to intersect, we do not know. It does not have a predecessor product,' Maestri told Reuters.

International sales accounted for 62 percent of the quarter's revenue.

'We're happy to report a very strong finish to a great fiscal 2017, with record fourth quarter revenue, year-over-year growth for all our product categories, and our best quarter ever for Services,' said Cook. 'With fantastic new products including iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, Apple Watch Series 3, and Apple TV 4K joining our product lineup, we're looking forward to a great holiday season, and with the launch of iPhone X getting underway right now, we couldn't be more excited as we begin to deliver our vision for the future with this stunning device.

''Apple's year-over-year revenue growth rate accelerated for the fourth consecutive quarter and drove EPS growth of 24 percent in the September quarter,' said Luca Maestri, Apple's CFO. 'We also generated strong operating cash flow of $15.7 billion and returned $11 billion to investors through our capital return program.' The company forecast first-quarter revenue of $84 billion to $87 billion.  

Apple said it sold 46.7 million iPhones in the fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, above analysts' estimates of 46.4 million, according to financial data and analytics firm FactSet. The company's net income rose to $10.71 billion, or $2.07 per share, in the quarter, from $9.01 billion, or $1.67 per share, a year earlier. The $28.85 billion revenue from iPhone sales accounted for nearly 55 percent of total revenue, which rose 12.2 percent to $52.58 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting total revenue of $50.70 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.