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Earnings Results: Apple quarterly sales miss for first time since 2018 amid supply constraints

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Apple Inc. delivered a rare revenue miss Thursday as the smartphone giant grew iPhone sales and revenue more slowly than anticipated.

Apple’s
AAPL,
+2.50%

revenue for the period increased to $83.4 billion from $64.7 billion, while analysts had been looking for $85.1 billion. The company hadn’t missed revenue expectations since the holiday quarter of 2018, when it issued a warning ahead of time due to challenges in China.

“Demand was very robust,” Chief Executive Tim Cook said on Thursday’s earnings call, but he estimated that supply constraints had a $6 billion negative impact on revenue. Cook cited “industry-wide silicon shortages and COVID-related manufacturing disruptions.”

Shares fell more than 3.7% in after-hours trading Thursday.

The company reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $20.6 billion, or $1.24 a share, up from $12.7 billion, or 73 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Analysts tracked by FactSet were expecting $1.24 in earnings per share.

The company generated $38.9 billion in iPhone revenue, up from $26.4 billion a year prior but below the FactSet consensus, which called for $41.2 billion. The new iPhone 13 line became available during the last week of the quarter.

Apple’s Mac and iPad categories have been big winners in the pandemic due to the rise of remote work. The Mac business eked out some growth in the latest quarter, while the iPad business delivered a big revenue beat.

Mac sales rose slightly to $9.2 billion from $9.0 billion, while analysts had been modeling $9.1 billion. Revenue from iPads increased to $8.3 billion from $6.8 billion and came in easily ahead of the FactSet consensus, which was for $7.2 billion.

The company’s new iPads became available at the tail end of the September quarter, but Apple didn’t announce its new MacBook Pros until October.

The company saw growth in its wearables, home and accessories category, which brought in $8.8 billion in revenue during the September period, compared with $7.9 billion a year prior. The latest quarter’s total fell short of the FactSet consensus, which modeled $9.4 billion.

Apple reported $18.3 billion in services revenue, up from $14.5 billion a year earlier and above the $17.7 billion that analysts surveyed by FactSet had been projecting.

The company heads into the holiday season amid questions about how supply-chain disruptions will impact big consumer electronics companies in the holiday period. Microsoft Corp.
MSFT,
+0.37%

issued a strong December-quarter forecast for PCs and Xbox devices, highlighting that while it expects some supply constraints, it also anticipates continued strong demand for its products.

Shares of Apple have risen 5% over the past three months as the Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
+0.68%
,
of which Apple is a component, has increased 2%.

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