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Apple earnings top estimates even as iPhone sales sag

An iPhone with Apple's forthcoming credit card.
An iPhone with Apple's forthcoming credit card. Photo: Apple

Apple reported earnings and revenue ahead of estimates Tuesday as weakness in the iPhone business was offset with growth in wearables.

Why it matters: Apple has been leaning on those newer businesses amid weakness in the smartphone business, but it's still critical for Apple to keep customers on its mobile platform in order to build its services market.

By the numbers: Here's how Apple's results compared with Bloomberg's estimates:

  • Revenue: $53.8 billion vs. $53.3 billion
  • Per-share earnings: $2.18 vs. $2.10
  • iPhone revenue: $25.99 billion vs. $26.54 billion
  • Services revenue: $11.45 billion vs. $11.88 billion
  • Next quarter revenue outlook: $61 billion to $64 billion, vs. $61.04 billion

The bigger picture: Apple's business remained weak in China and was also down from a year ago in Europe, but gained in Japan and the rest of Asia Pacific. Quarterly revenue in the Americas was up slightly from 2018.

What they're saying: On a conference call with analysts, CEO Tim Cook said Apple saw improvements in the iPhone business from a quarter earlier. While sales were down 12% from the prior year, that's better than the 17% year over year decline Apple saw last quarter.

“These results are promising across all our geographic segments, and we’re confident about what’s ahead," he said in a statement ahead of the call. "The balance of calendar 2019 will be an exciting period, with major launches on all of our platforms, new services and several new products.”

Total revenue outside of the iPhone was up 17% from the prior year, Cook said on the call, adding the company saw growth in all categories beyond the iPhone.

Cook also said:

  • Apple's forthcoming credit card is being used by thousands of employees in a beta test and begin rolling out to customers in August.
  • While sales were down in China, the company saw growth on a constant currency basis and that the iPhone is doing relatively better this quarter than it was three months ago.
  • The acquisition of Intel's modem business represented Apple's second biggest purchase in dollar terms and, at 2,200 employees, its largest intake of personnel. He added that it was part of the company's strategy to "own and control" all of the key technologies in its products.

Stock soars: Apple stock rose in after-hours trading, changing hands recently at $217.94 up $9.16 or 4.39%.