Less is more: Apple beats expectations but unit sales fall

 
Oliver Gill
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Apple is the world's largest company by market capitalisation (Source: Getty)

Apple delivered better-than-expected fourth-quarter profits, though warned its unit sales were on the wane.

Shares in the world's biggest company rose over two per cent, putting it in pole position as US tech giants race to be the first to a $1 trillion stock market valuation.

Revenue and earnings beat Wall Street forecasts. Revenue was $88.3bn compared with expectations of $87.3bn. Fourth quarterly earnings were $3.89 per share, beating $3.86 predicted by analysts.

However, unit sales fell and missed guidance. Apple flogged 77.3m phones during the final three months of the year compared with an expected 80m units.

Read more: Apple, Amazon and Alphabet in $1 trillion race

“If Apple is able to deliver another quarter of robust iPhone sales, it might very well be the first company to reach a $1 trillion valuation,” said WPP Mindshare chief digital officer Norm Johnston.

“What most analysts will scrutinise is whether Apple has been able to sell enough $1,000 iPhone X’s given the device’s hefty price tag. The answer was an emphatic yes.”

Read more: Will Apple take the Dow over 27,000 this week?

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