Apple (AAPL) Q4 2021 earnings

People pose for photos with Apple CEO, Tim Cook as he attends the opening of the new Apple Tower Theater retail store at the Apple Tower Theater on June 24, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

JC Oliveira | Getty Images

Apple will report its financial earnings for the fourth quarter after markets close on Thursday.

Here’s what Wall Street expects, according to Refinitiv estimates:

  • RevenuesExpected: 84.85 billion dollars
  • Earnings per shareExpected: $1.24

Apple is currently experiencing exponential growth as iPhone, iPad, and Mac sales have mushroomed during the pandemic. All three quarters during Apple’s fiscal year 2021 were a blast with growth on every product line.

Apple’s fourth quarter ended in September, and it will include iPhone 13 sales for only a few days, so analysts should not draw firm conclusions about the strength of Apple’s new product cycle of earnings. But company officials may offer some color about the order.

It’s also an easier comparison to last year because iPhone 12 models weren’t included at all in the fourth quarter of 2020, and customers often delay purchases when they know a new device is coming out.

But Wall Street estimates that Apple’s sales will grow by more than 31.1% compared to the same period last year, with the streak of rapid growth continuing.

One of the questions facing Apple is how affected it is by the current landscape of supply chain issues and computer parts shortages.

In July, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he was paying more for shipping than he wanted, and the company said industry-wide supply issues would start to affect sales of its most important product, the iPhone. Several Apple products, including iPhone 13 models and Apple Watches, have recently been ordered in their online store.

Apple’s App Store and the services business it supports also saw strong growth during 2021, solidifying Apple’s revolutionary leadership case that it has the opportunity to sell cloud storage, music, video and app subscriptions to its existing base of iPhone customers.

In the most recent quarter, services revenue grew 33%, after growth of 27% in the second quarter and 24% in the first quarter, higher than growth rates in the mid-teens in previous years. Analysts say if Apple’s services business continues to grow at a similar rate, it could prompt investors to value the stock more.

Apple has not provided revenue guidance since the start of the pandemic, citing uncertainty. I’ve shown single data points instead.

The December quarter is Apple’s biggest quarter of the year, driven by holiday sales. Analysts polled by Refinitiv expect sales of $119.7 billion, which is a 7.4% annual increase, so they will be watching to see if Apple releases evidence and if it beats the street’s bullish estimate. Apple’s guidance, if it provides them, will be the best look at the iPhone 13’s cycle strength yet.


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