Apple provided guidance for the March quarter that disappointed investors.
The numbers, provided on Apple’s earnings call Thursday night, are a little messy.
CFO Luca Maestri said that in the year ago March quarter, the company had an extra $5 billion in revenue related to unusual dynamics in the iPhone business. After backing out that factor, he said, Apple’s current quarter revenue–both overall and for the iPhone segment–should be about flat from a year ago.
That would suggest iPhone revenue of $46.3 billion, and overall revenue of $89.8 billion; Wall Street estimates for the current quarter have been $49.7 billion for iPhone, and $95.6 billion overall.
“In the December quarter a year ago, we faced significant supply constraints on the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max due to Covid-19 factory shutdowns,” Maestri said on the call. “And in the March quarter a year ago, we were able to replenish channel inventory and fulfill significant pent-up demand from the constraints. We estimate that this impact added close to $5 billion to the March quarter’s total revenue last year. When we remove this impact from last year’s revenue, we expect both our March quarter total company revenue and iPhone revenue to be similar to a year ago.”
Maestri also said the company expects its services revenue growth to be comparable to the level in the December quarter, at 11.3%. That would imply services revenue for the March quarter of $23.3 billion, a little shy of the Wall Street consensus of $23.5 billion.
Apple said it expects gross margin in the quarter in the 46% to 47% range, up a little from 45.9% in the December quarter.
Maestri said that Apple bought back $20.5 billion of stock in the latest quarter, and now has $$65 billion in net cash and securities. The company has gross cash and securities of $173 billion.
Apple shares are down 3.2% in after-hours trading Thursday.