Apple Records Strong Sales in China but Forecast Disappoints

Apple released its third-quarter earnings declaring it had sold 47.5 million iPhones, up 35 percent from a year ago but fell short of expectations as analysts had expected a figure around 49 million.

The company said net income rose to $10.68 billion, or $1.85 per share, from $7.75 billion, or $1.28 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 32.5 percent to $49.61 billion from a year earlier, beating Wall Street’s expectations of $49.43 billion.

The growth was fueled by record third-quarter sales of iPhones and Macs, all-time record revenue from services and what Apple called the “successful launch of Apple Watch,” although it didn’t provide specific sales figures for its newest product category.

The company however provided a lower-than-expected outlook for the current three-month period. It estimates fiscal fourth-quarter revenue will be between $49 billion and $51 billion. As a result, Apple Inc shares slumped nearly 7 percent in after-hours trading as its fourth-quarter revenue forecast fell short of estimates.

The forecast overshadowed Apple’s strong sales in China, which more than doubled to $13.23 billion from a year earlier.

The company however did not reveal specific numbers for the Apple Watch. Apple reported $2.6 billion in revenue for other products, which includes iPods, Beats accessories and  Apple Watches.

Apple CFO Luca Maestri said that “the revenue from other products grew sharply.” Apple Watch accounted for “well over 100% of the growth in Other.”

About Apple Watch, CEO Tim Cook declared, “Sales of the Watch did exceed our expectations and they did so despite supply still trailing demand at the end of the quarter. In fact, the Apple Watch sell-through was higher than the comparable launch periods of the original iPhone or the original iPad. We only had 680 points of sale in the quarter for the Watch. Online sales were so great that we did not have inventory in our sales until June.”

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