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Apple’s Unusually Late Earnings Report: What’s Behind the Delay and What to Expect

Apple has decided to release its March quarter earnings report on May 4, deviating from its usual schedule and sparking curiosity among investors. For 23 of the past 25 years, the tech giant has announced its March quarter results in April, with the latest previous date being May 2 in 2017. However, the delay has raised questions about whether there might be an underlying reason for the longer-than-usual wait.

Anticipated Figures for the March Quarter

Analysts predict that Apple will report revenue of $93 billion for the latest March quarter, a 4.4% decrease compared to last year. As a result, profits are expected to reach $1.43 per share, down from $1.52. 

Apple’s Chief Financial Officer, Luca Maestri, previously indicated that the company’s total revenue growth for the March quarter would be on par with the December quarter, which saw a 5% decline year-over-year. He attributed this drop to unfavorable exchange rates, which are projected to reduce sales by approximately 5 percentage points.

Maestri also mentioned that Apple’s services would experience year-over-year growth, despite facing headwinds in advertising and gaming sectors due to macroeconomic factors. Additionally, he stated that both Mac and iPad sales would see double-digit declines compared to last year, citing challenging comparisons. 

However, iPhone sales are expected to pick up from the December quarter, which was negatively impacted by production issues in China. As a result, the company forecasts a gross margin of 43.5% to 44.5% for the March quarter.

Possible Reasons for the Delayed Apple Announcement

According to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, Apple might have postponed the earnings report to gather an extra week of data on the current quarter, particularly concerning iPhone sales. 

This additional information could provide clearer guidance for the June quarter. Notably, the earnings announcement will occur just a month before the 2023 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), where Apple is anticipated to unveil its entrance into the augmented and virtual reality hardware market. 

Ives also suggests that the company may share updates on its artificial intelligence strategy during the event.

For the June quarter, the consensus among analysts points to revenue of $85.6 billion, a 3% increase year-over-year, and profits of $1.24 per share, up from $1.20. As for the fiscal year ending in September, the Street projects revenue of $389 billion, a decrease of around 1%.

 Potential Changes in Capital Allocation Policy

In addition to its earnings report, Apple is expected to announce revisions to its capital allocation policy. These changes may include a dividend hike and an expansion of the company’s stock repurchase program. So far, Apple’s stock has experienced a 26% rally this year.

By presenting a comprehensive analysis of Apple’s financial performance and upcoming plans, this article aims to offer valuable insights for investors and industry experts alike. 

As the tech giant continues to innovate and adapt to market conditions, the unusually late earnings announcement only adds to the anticipation surrounding Apple’s future endeavors.

JP Buntinx
JP Buntinx has been writing about cryptocurrency since 2012. His interest in crypto, blockchain, fintech, and finance allows him to cover a broad range of different topics.