Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced financial results for its fiscal 2017 first quarter ended December 31, 2016. The Company posted all-time record quarterly revenue of $78.4 billion and all-time record quarterly earnings per diluted share of $3.36. These results compare to revenue of $75.9 billion and earnings per diluted share of $3.28 in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 64 percent of the quarter’s revenue.
“We’re thrilled to report that our holiday quarter results generated Apple’s highest quarterly revenue ever, and broke multiple records along the way. We sold more iPhones than ever before and set all-time revenue records for iPhone, Services, Mac and Apple Watch,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Revenue from Services grew strongly over last year, led by record customer activity on the App Store, and we are very excited about the products in our pipeline.”
“Our outstanding business performance resulted in a new all-time record for earnings per share, and over $27 billion in operating cash flow,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “We returned nearly $15 billion to investors through share repurchases and dividends during the quarter, bringing cumulative payments through our capital return program to over $200 billion.”
Apple is providing the following guidance for its fiscal 2017 second quarter:
• revenue between $51.5 billion and $53.5 billion
• gross margin between 38 percent and 39 percent
• operating expenses between $6.5 billion and $6.6 billion
• other income/(expense) of $400 million
• tax rate of 26 percent
Apple’s board of directors has declared a cash dividend of $0.57 per share of the Company’s common stock. The dividend is payable on February 16, 2017 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on February 13, 2017.
Shares of Apple are up nearly 3% to $124.65. AAPL has a 1-year high of $122.44 and a 1-year low of $89.47. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $118.05 and its 200-day moving average is $111.83.
On the ratings front, AAPL has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released today, Maxim Group analyst Nehal Chokshi reiterated a Buy rating on AAPL, with a price target of $164, which implies an upside of 35% from current levels. Separately, on the same day, Pacific Crest’s Andy Hargreaves assigned a Buy rating to the stock and has a price target of $127.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Nehal Chokshi and Andy Hargreaves have a yearly average return of 14.5% and 25.5% respectively. Chokshi has a success rate of 71% and is ranked #545 out of 4370 analysts, while Hargreaves has a success rate of 66% and is ranked #83.
Sentiment on the street is mostly bullish on AAPL stock. Out of 32 analysts who cover the stock, 27 suggest a Buy rating and 5 recommend to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $139.62, which represents a potential upside of 15% from where the stock is currently trading.