Apple beats estimates, shares jump ahead of iPhone X launch

Apple, iPhone X, facial recognition, security, Juniper market research
Apple's iPhone X hit store shelves today.

Shares of Apple jumped after the company’s quarterly earnings far exceeded Wall Street estimates ahead of the release of the much-anticipated iPhone X.

The iconic vendor reported $52.58 billion in revenue during its fiscal fourth quarter, soundly beating the $50.7 expected by analysts and up 12% year over year. Profit came in at $10.7 billion, up 19% annually, and it sold 46.7 million iPhones during the period, outpacing the expected 46 million units.

Surprisingly, CEO Tim Cook said the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus “instantly” became the company’s top two selling devices at launch, according to CNBC. Analysts had expected sales of the iPhone 8 to be sluggish amid a competitive market for high-end handsets in which many Apple fans had been awaiting the release of the iPhone X.

“During the quarter, we sold 46.7 million iPhones, up 3% over last year,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO, according to an earnings call transcript from Seeking Alpha. “We are very pleased to see double-digit iPhone growth in many emerging markets including mainland China, the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe, India and Mexico. We gained share not only in those markets but also in Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Singapore, based on the latest estimates from IDC.”

Meanwhile, demand appears to be high for the iPhone X, a highly anticipated device that starts at $999 and went on sale in markets around world this morning. Hundreds of customers lined up in Australia and Singapore, The Wall Street Journal reported, although questions remain about how well Apple’s supply chain will be able to keep up with demand during the holiday season.

“With the robust demand for the iPhone X, the momentum of the services business and the return of growth in China, Apple is poised to deliver another record revenue and profit year in fiscal year 2018,” said Stephen Sohn, Moody’s senior vice president and lead analyst for Apple, said in a prepared statement. “Additionally, the proposed tax reform will provide more clarity on Apple’s ability to access offshore cash and manage shareholder returns and debt levels.”

Shares of Apple were up roughly 3% by mid-day Friday.