Apple’s banner holiday-season quarter tops projections

Apple is still reaping huge profits from the iPhone while mining more moneymaking opportunities from the growing popularity of its smartwatch, digital services and wireless earbuds

SAN FRANCISCO —
Apple is still reaping huge profits from the iPhone while mining more moneymaking opportunities from the growing popularity of its smartwatch, digital services and wireless earbuds.

That combination produced a banner season for a company whose fortunes appeared to be sliding just a year ago amid declining sales for the iPhone, its marquee product for the past decade.

Apple’s fiscal first-quarter results, released Tuesday, provided the latest proof that the fears hanging over the consumer electronics icon might have been unfounded.

Apple’s profit and revenue for the October-December period topped analysts’ projections, providing another boost to a stock that has more than doubled in less than 13 months.

The shares surged by more than 2% to $325.33 in extended trading after the numbers came out. That’s up from $142 in January 2019 after Apple warned that consumers weren’t buying new iPhones at the clip that they once were, especially in China, the company’s biggest market outside the U.S. and Europe.

The mystery virus that has recently been killing people in China now looms as a potential concern for Apple, but investors for now are focusing on what now looks like an even more prosperous road ahead for a company that turned a $55 billion profit in its past fiscal year.

Apple got off to a fast start for fiscal 2020, with a first-quarter profit of $22.2 billion, or $4.99 per share, on revenue of $91.8 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet had predicted earnings of $4.54 per share on revenue of $88.5 billion.