The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 0.25%) rose Wednesday morning, up 0.29% by 10:35 a.m. EST. A strong earnings report from Apple (AAPL -1.76%) helped boost the index despite a backdrop of worsening headlines about the coronavirus outbreak in China.
Also helping the Dow on Wednesday was Boeing (BA 0.85%). Its fourth-quarter results were downright awful, but investors may have been bracing for even worse news.
Apple beats estimates across the board
Apple produced revenue of $91.8 billion in its fiscal first quarter. That's up 9% year over year and an all-time record for the tech giant. It's also more than $3 billion higher than analysts were expecting. The bottom line was also strong, with earnings per share up 19% to $4.99. EPS beat analyst estimates by $0.45. Apple stock was up 2.2% Wednesday morning.
The iPhone was the star of the show, returning to growth in the quarter and generating revenue of $56 billion. iPhone sales were up 7.6% year over year, driven by solid demand for the iPhone 11 family. But it's important to remember that the previous holiday quarter was a disaster for Apple, making the comparison exceptionally easy. iPhone sales were actually down 9.1% from the same period two years ago.
Sales of Macs and iPads were down in the quarter, but wearables and services grew at double-digit rates. Sales in the wearables, home, and accessories segment, which includes AirPods and the Apple Watch, were up 37% to $10 billion. Services sales rose 17% to $12.7 billion.
Apple expects to produce second-quarter revenue between $63 billion and $67 billion. The wide range is due to uncertainty created by the coronavirus outbreak in China, which has the potential to hurt sales in that country. Sales in China grew slightly in the first quarter.
This year, Apple is expected to launch a budget iPhone as well as at least one 5G-enabled iPhone. 5G could trigger a strong upgrade cycle for Apple, but it remains to be seen how interested consumers are in the technology.
Boeing reports a loss
Shares of Boeing were up 2.4% Wednesday morning despite a fourth-quarter report that badly missed expectations. Revenue plunged 37% year over year to $17.9 billion thanks to a 67% drop in commercial airplane deliveries. The 737 Max remains grounded after two fatal crashes, and production of the troubled aircraft was suspended earlier this month.
Boeing's revenue missed analyst estimates by a whopping $3.85 billion. The bottom line was also worse than expected, with a non-GAAP (adjusted) EPS loss of $2.33. That was $0.50 worse than the average analyst estimate, and way down from a profit of $5.48 in the prior-year period.
Boeing burned cash during the quarter, with a negative operating cash flow of $2.2 billion. The company reportedly secured $12 billion in financing from various banks earlier this week to plug the hole in its balance sheet ripped open by the grounding of the 737 Max.
Boeing now expects the total costs related to the 737 Max crisis to top $18 billion, including costs that are expected to be incurred this year. That number could rise if Boeing faces additional delays getting the 737 Max back in the air.
Boeing's results were unequivocally bad, but they may have not been quite as bad as investors were expecting. Still, the stock remains down 26% from its 52-week high as the 737 troubles drag on.