Apple's 'remarkable' September quarter in five easy charts

The ups and downs of Apple’s revenue, diluted earnings, iPhone sales, services and revenue from greater China.

A nice beat on the top and bottom lines. The guidance for Q1 2020 was even better. The stock immediately jumped $6 in after hours trading.

From the press release:

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2019 fourth quarter ended September 28, 2019. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $64 billion, an increase of 2 percent from the year-ago quarter, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $3.03, up 4 percent. International sales accounted for 60 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

“We concluded a groundbreaking fiscal 2019 with our highest Q4 revenue ever, fueled by accelerating growth from Services, Wearables and iPad,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “With customers and reviewers raving about the new generation of iPhones, today’s debut of new, noise-cancelling AirPods Pro, the hotly-anticipated arrival of Apple TV+ just two days away, and our best lineup of products and services ever, we’re very optimistic about what the holiday quarter has in store.”

"Our strong business performance drove record Q4 EPS of $3.03 and record Q4 operating cash flow of $19.9 billion,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “We also returned over $21 billion to shareholders, including almost $18 billion in share repurchases and $3.5 billion in dividends and equivalents, as we continue on our path to reaching a net cash neutral position over time.”

Apple is providing the following guidance for its fiscal 2020 first quarter:

    • revenue between $85.5 billion and $89.5 billion
    • gross margin between 37.5 percent and 38.5 percent
    • operating expenses between $9.6 billion and $9.8 billion
    • other income/(expense) of $200 million
    • tax rate of approximately 16.5 percent

Apple’s board of directors has declared a cash dividend of $0.77 per share of the Company’s common stock. The dividend is payable on November 14, 2019 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on November 11, 2019.

Apple press release. Earnings call transcript.

Below: The five charts. Click the second column to see year-over-year growth. (Not seeing the charts? Try the website.)

NOTE: Apple seems to have made some revisions in past earnings, including iPhone and Services revenues from Q4 2018. The percentage changes for Q4 2019 should be correct, but the old bars will be a little off.


  1. David Emery said:
    AAPL jumped the last couple minutes of trading to $248, but hasn’t moved much in the hour and a half since.

    October 30, 2019
  2. Gregg Thurman said:
    My effervescent bullish nature overestimated Apple’s December quarter guidance about a Billion dollars.

    But my estimates of FQ4 Revenue and EPS didn’t do so bad. shows my revenue estimate (of 475 estimates submitted) at #50 with 19 of 25 pts possible awarded. My EPS estimate was ranked #1 of 480 submitted with 24 of 25 pts awarded. My combined revenue/EPS score was 43 pts of 50 possible, ranking my combined estimates at #12 of 492 submitted (three submissions disallowed by

    My estimates were submitted on July 30, 2019.

    For the December quarter (using historic guidance to actual performance ratios, THANK Y0U LUCA!!!) my revenue and EPS estimates are:
    Revenue: $90.733 Billion
    EPS: $4.93 (based on share reduction to 4,360,901,000 fully diluted shares).

    October 30, 2019
    • John Butt said:
      You just beat me – I was 16th with 2.98 and 63,800. 😀

      October 31, 2019
      • Gregg Thurman said:
        I was 16th with 2.98 and 63,800

        Good job.

        October 31, 2019
  3. Jerry W Doyle said:
    “…. People lined up to buy Apple’s new $250 AirPods Pro at certain Apple stores on Wednesday morning when the wireless noise-cancelling earbuds were released. …. This is … unusual. Lines for new iPhones, sure. But for headphones? I can’t think of a pair of headphones that got so much interest that it caused people to line up to buy them.”

    Unbelievable! Lines for AirPod Pros! Apple reported a 54% growth this evening in “Wearables” for Q4! And, the AirPods Pro was released quietly overnight without “publicity” and yet, people are standing in lines at some stores. This is a first for “Wearables!” What does all this mean for the upcoming Holiday Season?

    Laissez le bon temps rouler! Geaux !

    For the first time in recent memory, people are lining up outside a store to buy headphones — Apple’s new $250 AirPods Pro
    Apple’s $250 AirPods Pro were released on Wednesday, and some Apple Store locations had lines of people waiting to buy or try them. Lines aren’t unusual for new iPhone releases, but they’re not common for new headphones. Especially considering the AirPods Pro were quietly announced rather than launching during a major Apple event. The AirPods Pro differentiate themselves from the regular AirPods with a new design for a better in-ear fit and features like active noise-cancelling, water and sweat

    Read in Business Insider:

    Shared from Apple News

    October 30, 2019
  4. Dan Scropos said:
    Today’s most important number was that the trade-in volume on iPhones grew 5x from the year before for the second consecutive quarter. The iPhone is very close to becoming subscription-like. More importantly, Apple’s secondary market remains remarkably strong.

    October 30, 2019
  5. Fred Stein said:
    Some observations / opinions:

    Privacy pays off, especially with their customers in retail and government. Success in these segments were highlighted. In both cases, smart customers use Apple to prevent breaches which can be costly and career ending. Plus both customer types will need a big big reason to replace Apple. Not gonna happen.

    Despite lower hardware prices and FX headwinds, GM remains in line, thanks to services. A smart CEO set this in motion years ago.

    No worry about the declining iPhone revenue in Chart 3. This is due to elongated upgrade cycles. The main reasons are: Better quality iPhones; Better supported iPhones; And non-aspirational iPhone owners that just want a safe choice. That means loyal customers who buy more products and services over a very long time.

    And thanks Gregg, for fully diluted share count.

    October 30, 2019
    • Gregg Thurman said:
      And thanks Gregg, for fully diluted share count.

      You’re welcome. Nice to know somebody actually read my post.

      October 31, 2019
  6. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    @ Fred Stein —

    “…And non-aspirational iPhone owners that just want a safe choice.”

    Great line that says a lot about a big share of loyal, yet unsung Apple customers.

    October 31, 2019

Leave a Reply