​Apple delivers biggest ever quarter, but sales slump nears

Cupertino records biggest ever quarter during its fiscal 2016 first quarter, but warns that sales will slump in the year ahead.

Apple recorded its biggest ever quarter during its fiscal 2016 first quarter, but warns that sales will slump in the year ahead.

Unsurprisingly, the tech giant posted record quarterly revenue of $US75.9 billion and record quarterly net income of $US18.4 billion, following a strong holiday period and a stream of new device sales.

While the results are up from revenue of $US74.6 billion and net income of $18 billion in the year-ago quarter, Cupertino remained cautious for the year ahead, predicting that revenue will decline in the next quarter, the company’s first drop in years.

“Our team delivered Apple’s biggest quarter ever, thanks to the world’s most innovative products and all-time record sales of iPhone, Apple Watch and Apple TV,” says Tim Cook, CEO, Apple.

“The growth of our Services business accelerated during the quarter to produce record results, and our installed base recently crossed a major milestone of one billion active devices.”

But during the investor call, Cook predicted that revenue for the second quarter of 2016 would come in between $US50 and $US53 billion - which for Apple represents the first three months of the calendar year and is down from the $US58 million in revenue it reported during the same period last year.

On the devices side, iPhone sales continue to grow, albeit at a much slower pace from 74.5 million units to 74.8 million year-over-year.

In addition, the iPad took a sizeable hit over the holiday period with sales of 16.1 million units, down 21 per cent from 21.4 million from the first quarter last year, despite the inclusion of early iPad Pro sales.

The Mac is also slipping, from 5.5 million units sold last year to 5.3 million this year while Apple’s “other products” category, which includes the Apple Watch, is shining brightly.

Figures show that the company made $US4.3 million in that category, up from $US2.6 million in Q1 2015.

“Our record sales and strong margins drove all-time records for net income and EPS in spite of a very difficult macroeconomic environment,” adds Luca Maestri, CFO, Apple.

“We generated operating cash flow of $27.5 billion during the quarter, and returned over $9 billion to investors through share repurchases and dividends.

“We have now completed $153 billion of our $200 billion capital return program.”

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