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Apple CEO Tim Cook, speaking at the Apple 12 launch event in October. Photo: Apple

Apple on Thursday reported quarterly sales and earnings that narrowly exceeded analysts estimates as the iPhone maker continued to see strong demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

What they's saying: The company said response to new products, including the iPhone 12 has been "tremendously positive" but did not give a specific forecast for the current quarter.

Why it matters: Apple continues to be a bellwether for the smartphone business and broader tech industry.

Details: Sales of the iPhone were down sharply from a year ago as Apple delayed the launch of the new lineup from late in the September quarter to October, meaning the first results for the new iPhone won't show up until the company's January report.

By the numbers:

  • Revenue: $64.7 billion (vs. $64.16 billion consensus analyst expectation)
  • Earnings per share: 73 cents (vs. 71 cents analyst expectations)
  • iPhone revenue: $26.4 billion (vs. 33.3 billion a year ago)
  • Mac: $9 billion (vs. $7 billion a year ago)
  • iPad: $6.8 billion (vs. $4.7 billion a year ago)
  • Services: $15.5 billion (vs. $12.5 billion a year ago)
  • Wearables, home and accessories: $7.9 billion (vs. $6.5 billion a year ago)

What they're saying: "Despite the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, Apple is in the midst of our most prolific product introduction period ever, and the early response to all our new products, led by our first 5G-enabled iPhone lineup, has been tremendously positive," CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.

Update, 2:30 p.m. PT: On a conference call with analysts, CFO Luca Maestri declined to offer a revenue forecast, but said the company expects iPhone sales to be up from a year ago despite the fact that the new iPhones are launching several weeks into the quarter. Services and all other products should see revenue growth in "double digits," Maestri said. Cook said to also expect growth in China, which was down in the just-reported quarter.

  • The company said the Apple One service bundle will launch tomorrow and the company is expected to debut the first Macs powered by an Apple processor to launch later in the year.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 29, 2021 - Economy & Business

Chevron posts another quarterly loss under weight of pandemic

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Chevron posted another quarterly loss Friday in the latest sign of how the pandemic is still weighing on oil companies despite some price recovery during the second half of the year.

Driving the news: The oil giant reported a $665 million loss for the October-December period, but it shrinks to $11 million on an adjusted basis after considering charges on its acquisition of Noble Energy and "foreign currency effects."

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 29, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Electric vehicle sales far surpass pandemic expectations

Data: EIA; Note: 2020 figures are preliminary; Chart: Axios Visuals

New International Energy Agency preliminary data shows that worldwide sales grew by an estimated 40% last year, exceeding the agency's expectations.

Why it matters: The increase occurred despite a drop on overall global vehicle sales.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Jan 29, 2021 - Economy & Business

The state of the U.S. economy after one year of the coronavirus

Source: St. Louis Fed; Billions of chained 2012 dollars; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy shrank by 3.5% last year, the Commerce Department reported, with the country seeing both its largest quarterly GDP decline and its largest quarterly GDP increase in the second and third quarters, respectively.

Where it stands: The 3.5% decline is the worst year for the U.S. since at least the end of World War II, and the economy is more than $473 billion smaller than it was before the pandemic hit.