Apple Beats Q4 Earnings Expectations on Eve of Streaming Platform Launch

iPhone sales continue to drop, but services business increase for tech giant

Apple's logo on the iconography of a dollar bill

Despite a continued drop in its product sales, Apple reported earnings that surpassed analyst expectations.

For the three months ending on Sept. 30, representing the company’s fourth fiscal quarter, Apple reported $64 billion in revenue, edging past analyst estimates of $62.99 billion in sales; Apple also posted earnings per share of $3.03, also surpassing projections of $2.84 EPS.

Apple’s revenue was up 2% from a year ago. The tech giant saw an increase in its services business with a record $12.5 billion, up from $10.6 billion in the year-ago quarter. Wearable and iPad sales were also up, while Mac and iPhone sales dipped. Though iPhone sales came in higher than expected with $33.36 billion; analysts had projected $32.42 billion.

Following the strong performance, Apple’s stock was up more than 2% in after-hours trading.

“We concluded a groundbreaking fiscal 2019 with our highest Q4 revenue ever, fueled by accelerating growth from Services, Wearables and iPad,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “With customers and reviewers raving about the new generation of iPhones, today’s debut of new, noise-canceling AirPods Pro, the hotly-anticipated arrival of Apple TV+ just two days away, and our best lineup of products and services ever, we’re very optimistic about what the holiday quarter has in store.”

The earnings come as the tech giant is set to make its heavily-anticipated debut in the streaming world with the launch of Apple TV+ on Friday. The company is hoping that the direct-to-consumer offering can help goose lagging iPhone sales, offering a free year of the service to anyone who buys a new iPhone, iPad or Mac computer.

“Our strong business performance drove record Q4 EPS of $3.03 and record Q4 operating cash flow of $19.9 billion,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “We also returned over $21 billion to shareholders, including almost $18 billion in share repurchases and $3.5 billion in dividends and equivalents, as we continue on our path to reaching a net cash neutral position over time.”