Apple’s Earnings Beat Was Driven By Broad-Based Execution

Apple's recent quarterly check-ins have been fairly ho-hum, but not this time! The Mac maker is back to growth after an impressive quarter.

Motley Fool Staff
Motley Fool Staff
Feb 9, 2017 at 10:05AM
Technology and Telecom

Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) strong earnings beat on January 31 was driven by strong performance across numerous business segments. In this segment from Industry Focus: Tech, Motley Fool analysts Dylan Lewis and Evan Niu, CFA discuss the headline numbers and other areas where the company executed well.

A full transcript follows the video.

This podcast was recorded on Feb. 3, 2017.

Dylan Lewis: I doubt that you could possibly be doing as well as Apple is doing this week, though.

Evan Niu: [laughs] That's true.

Lewis: It's not too often that you see the world's largest company spike 6% after earnings.

Niu: Yeah. The numbers they put up, I mean, I was pretty impressed. I wasn't really expecting them to blow it out like this, and beat their own guidance by $400 million.

Lewis: Yeah. We always do the Apple earnings show, it's one of my favorites to do. But after several in a row where we've been, like, "Yeah, we know that growth is slow or even declining, but just be patient, we think it's going to be OK," it will be nice to do a show where we can talk about them and have a bit of a rosier outlook on things, and maybe reaffirm some of the confidence that the Street should have in the business. In a lot of ways, it's still a fantastic company. Why don't we start out with a big numbers here? Revenue came in at $78.3 billion, which beat estimates of $77.3 billion. Also beat the company's guidance, like you said, by a couple hundred million. Earnings per share came in at $3.36 for the quarter, which also beat estimates of $3.22. So, for the first time since fiscal Q1 of last year, the company posted year-over-year revenue growth.

Niu: Yeah. I think that's one of the big stories. 2016 was so tough on them in terms of storylines and sentiment, because, yeah, first year ever of showing negative growth, and everyone is kind of gloomy about it. Then, they come back and say, "We still have it in us, we can still set records, we can still push all these different parts of the business to these completely record levels," including the Mac, which is crazy, because the Mac has been around for 40 years, and they're still continuing to grow it and push up higher.

Lewis: And they've been working against so many headwinds for such a long time in that year. You look at the strong dollar having a pretty sizable impact on the money they make overseas, and also the selling price of devices overseas. You look at the elongating of the upgrade cycle, particularly with some of the wireless carriers moving away from a subsidy model, and getting people off of that two-year upgrade.

So, there are just a lot of things pushing against what would normally cause people to be buying phones, or would be allowing them to recognize more in revenue and earnings here in the U.S. So, it's nice to see them bring it back up this quarter.