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Apple's Fiscal 2018 in 7 Mind-Boggling Metrics

By Daniel Sparks - Nov 4, 2018 at 10:16AM

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This fiscal year featured double-digit iPhone revenue growth, massive spending on share repurchases, and more.

Don't let Apple (AAPL 0.00%) stock's pullback after its recently released fourth-quarter update fool you, the company has had a stellar fiscal year. The iPhone X proved to be a big winner with consumers, the company's services and "other products" segments continued their rapid growth, and earnings per share soared.

Unsurprisingly, Apple stock crushed the overall market over the last 12 months, with shares rising 24% (including the stock's post-earnings sell-off last week). During this same time frame, the S&P 500 gained only 6%. As investors look back over Apple's strong performance recently, here are seven impressive metrics from the fiscal year.

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaking onstage at WWDC 2018.

Apple CEO Tim Cook. Image source: Apple.

1. Revenue of $266 billion

Apple's revenue jumped 16% year over year in fiscal 2018, increasing by more than $36 billion to a record $266 billion. 

2. iPhone revenue of $167 billion

So much for Apple's iPhone business stagnating. iPhone revenue jumped 18% year over year as consumers gobbled up the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X, despite their higher starting prices than their predecessors. The iPhone X, of course, entered totally new pricing territory for iPhones, with a starting price of $999. Apple's pricing power in fiscal 2018, therefore, was as strong as ever.

3. Services revenue surpassed $37 billion

Highlighting how important Apple's services business has become to the company, the segment's revenue was $37 billion in fiscal 2018 -- nearly $12 billion more than the company's third-largest business segment (Macs). Services revenue in fiscal 2018 was up an impressive 24% over fiscal 2017.

4. Paid subscriptions hit 330 million

One strong catalyst that continued to deliver impressive growth for Apple's services business in 2018 was paid subscriptions. Paid subscriptions, including Apple Music and all third-party subscriptions in the App Store, soared from 210 million at the end of fiscal 2017 to 330 million -- that's a 57% year-over-year increase.

Apple called out the success of its paid subscriptions in its fourth-quarter earnings call, saying:

We are very pleased, not only with the growth, but also with the breadth of our subscription business. In fact, 30,000 third-party subscription apps are available on the App Store today and the largest of them all represents less than 0.3% of our total services revenue.

5. Other products revenue of $17.4 billion

Sure, Apple's other products segment is still the company's smallest, but its rapid growth is making it increasingly important to the tech giant's growth story. Other products revenue increased 35% to $17.4 billion in fiscal 2018, accounting for about 7% of total revenue (up from about 6% of revenue in fiscal 2017). The segment's growth was driven primarily by Apple's fast-growing wearables business, which includes Apple Watch, AirPods, and Beats devices.

AirPods laying on an iPhone

AirPods and an iPhone. Image source: Apple.

6. Apple returned nearly $90 billion to shareholders

Between its aggressive share repurchase program and its ongoing dividend payments, Apple wasn't shy about returning cash to shareholders in fiscal 2018. The company paid nearly $14 billion in dividends to shareholders and spent more than $73 billion repurchasing its shares. This brought total capital returned to shareholders through dividends and repurchases to almost $90 billion.

7. Earnings per share jumped 29%

Apple's revenue growth and share repurchases helped fuel an impressive 29% year-over-year increase in the tech giant's earnings per share in 2018.

What now?

Looking ahead, Apple doesn't look like it will boast the same torrid growth rates in fiscal 2019 as it did in fiscal 2018. For its fiscal first quarter, management guided for just 1% to 5% year-over-year revenue growth. But this doesn't mean investors should conclude Apple's growth story is fading. The company's strong iPhone pricing power, powerful growth in services and other products, an aggressive capital return program should continue delivering meaningful value for shareholders in fiscal 2019 and beyond.

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