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Apple’s ‘Top Gun’ Q2 Earnings Fly Past Global Economic Fears

Shane Snider

Cupertino, Calif. IT icon leveraged all-time high numbers for services, subscriptions and some products against supply chain woes that cost the company less than the company previously warned. M2 chip and strong iPhone sales also contributed to strong results. One analyst touts the news as Apple’s ‘Top Gun moment.’

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Apple dodged the brunt of COVID supply constraints that hit many Big Tech companies this quarter, mostly because of big wins in the company’s services and subscriptions business and a less-than-expected supply chain hit.

Apple executives touted record iPhone sales for the quarter along with $83 billion in revenue – up 2 percent year over year despite major COVID lockdown at important suppliers in China. Apple was able to pivot quickly and stay just under its previous warning of a $4 billion- $8 billion revenue hit by shifting to some manufacturers who were less affected by lockdowns.

Another big win, the company said, was in its services and subscriptions business, which rose 19.6 billion for the quarter – up 12 percent year-over-year and staying within analyst expectations. “Overall, we’re very happy with the results,” Cook said during a call with analysts, pointing to the services results, while also admitting that Mac shipments were extremely slowed because of logistics relating to the China COVID lockdowns.

Apple also posted quarterly earnings of $1.20 per diluted share. Apple’s board of directors has declared a cash dividend of 23 cents per share of the company’s common stock.

“This quarter’s record results speak to Apples constant efforts to innovate, to advance new possibilities, and to enrich the lives of our customers,” Cook said in a statement. “As always, we are leading with our values, and expressing them in everything we build, from new features that are designed to protect user privacy and security, to tools that will enhance accessibility… part of our longstanding commitment to create products for everyone.”

Luca Maestri, Apple’s chief financial officer, said, “Our June quarter results continued to demonstrate our ability to manage our business effectively despite the challenging operating environment.” He added that the company generated nearly $23 billion in operating cash flow and returned more than $28 billion to shareholders.

Cook said it was nearly impossible to gage demand for the new M2 line of Macs because of supply issues, but iPhone sales had reached an all-time high to coincide with the ground-breaking smartphone’s 15thanniversary. Cook told investors, “If you look at the June quarter, we do belive we saw macroeconomic headwinds. But when you look at the product categories – on iPhone there were no obvious impacts… We feel very good about the entirety of our business.”

Addigy founder Jason Dettbarn was impressed with Apple’s ability to navigate a tough supply chain to deliver a solid quarter. But he’s mostly excited about the revelation that the company’s active install base is at an all-time high (although Apple does not provide specific metrics). “That’s the barometer for active devices, and for MSPs and channel partners, that’s what we need to watch,” he said.

In a statement, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives called the earnings report Apple’s “Top Gun moment,” saying, “We walk away from the conference call and June results incrementally more positive that Apple can navigate this economic storm with the demand and growth story well intact for iPhones and Services front and center.” Wedbush said it would maintain its outperform rating on APple’s stock.

Bob O’Donnell, president and chief analyst at TECHnalysis Research in Foster City, Calif., credits Apple’s strong performance to the sway the IT behemoth holds over manufacturers abroad. “Everyone was expecting them to suffer,” he said. “Typically, Apple is the number one customer for most of these suppliers, so they have huge sway when it comes to taking care of them. And that’s very unique to Apple – they can do that in a way maybe no one else can in the industry.”

Apple’s stock was up more than 3 percent to $162.20 in after-hours trading Thursday.

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Shane Snider

Shane Snider is a senior associate editor covering personal computing, mobile devices, semiconductor news, hardware reviews, breaking news and live events. Shane is a veteran journalist, having worked for newspapers in upstate New York and North Carolina. He can be reached at ssnider@thechannelcompany.com.

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