Stocks fall when Apple issues a disappointing revenue forecast for the December quarter.

On Thursday, Apple announced financial results for the company's fourth fiscal quarter, revealing declining sales for the fourth consecutive quarter but above analyst projections for sales and earnings per share.

Revenue and profits per share for Apple's fiscal fourth quarter came in higher than expected on Thursday, but the company reported declining sales for the fourth consecutive quarter. Except for the iPhone, every hardware business fell year over year, with the iPad and Mac markets seeing particularly steep declines. 

In after-hours trade, Apple shares dropped by more than 3 percent as corporate officials indicated growth may not be restored in the crucial holiday quarter.


Apple didn't issue any formal forecasts, but CFO Luca Maestri said say they anticipated Q4 sales to "be similar to" the same period in 2017. Apple, however, has announced that this year's December quarter would be shortened by one week.


To recover to approximately 5% year-over-year growth in Apple's most significant quarter, analysts were anticipating $122.98 billion in revenue for the December quarter.  

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As compared to the same period a year ago, net income increased to $22.96 billion, or $1.46 per share, from $20.72 billion, or $1.29 per share. The computer giant's full fiscal year revenues came in at $383.29 billion, down nearly 3% from the previous year. In the three months ending in September, revenue was down by less than one percent.

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The company's iPhone sales were in line with Wall Street projections and grew more than 2% from previous year. Even though the iPhone 15 wasn't available for purchase for more than a week during the quarter, it was Apple's only hardware line to demonstrate increase.  

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at that quarter, "if you look at iPhone 15 and compare it to iPhone 14 for the same time in the year-ago quarter, iPhone 15 did better than iPhone 14," Cook told CNBC's Steve Kovach. He also mentioned that increased demand led to shortages of Apple's priciest iPhone models, the Pro and Pro Max.  

Both the Mac and iPad divisions of Apple saw a decrease in sales during the quarter. During a call with analysts following Apple's third-quarter results, Maestri warned that iPad and Mac sales would drop by double digit percentages.

Mac sales were lower than expected, falling by roughly 34% year over year, according to financial analysts. Apple unveiled its latest MacBook Pro laptops and iMac desktop computers at a special evening event last month. Apple's new M3 CPUs may help drive sales for the company in the coming quarters, even if the company didn't include such sales in its quarterly report.

After a massive supply interruption in the third quarter of 2022 pushed what would have been third-quarter sales into the final quarter of 2022, Cook informed CNBC that the Mac comparison is to "an all-time record" fourth quarter. To put it another way, "the comparison point here is very difficult," he remarked.

The Mac, I believe, will have a much more successful December quarter. We've got the M3, we've got the new products, and we don't have the compare phenomena on a year-over-year basis," Cook added, referring to an abnormally high market for Macs in 2022.  

Read on for the latest information.