Apple weathered the supply chain rumbles at the end of 2021 that tripped up the global electronics market and other industries, announcing an 11% increase in revenue and a 20% increase in its earnings in its last quarter.
Apple, the world’s most valuable public company, beat Wall Street analysts’ expectations, allaying fears that the tech industry’s long period of rapid growth is coming to an end. It posted a profit of $34.6 billion on record revenue of $123.9 billion in the three months to December, although its revenue growth continued to slow from 29% in the previous quarter.
As usual, the iPhone boosted Apple’s sales, which briefly exceeded $3 trillion in market value earlier in January before falling back to around $2.6 trillion on Thursday. iPhone sales totaled $71.6 billion, up 9% from a year earlier. Demand for the latest iPhone 13 was expected to boost sales, but the company has been warning for months that computer chip shortages and pandemic-related manufacturing issues in Asia were likely to limit supply and to harm income.
Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said in October supply constraints cost his company $6 billion in revenue in its fall quarter and he expected an even bigger loss. important during the quarter which includes the holidays.
Apple announced a slate of new hardware products in the fall, including new models of its MacBook Pro laptop, AirPods, iPad and Apple Watch. He’s working on an augmented reality headset that could rival offerings from companies like Meta, Facebook’s parent company, as tech companies increase their influence in the nascent Metaverse, a futuristic online universe.
Apple also benefited from strong growth in its services business, which includes its App Store. Services business rose nearly 24% in the quarter from a year ago to $19.5 billion.
Apple also said it plans to use nearly $27 billion of its cash to pay dividends to shareholders.
Apple’s positive results came toward the end of a week of wild stock trading, driven in part by fears about how quickly the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates in a bid to rein in inflation. Higher interest rates are making riskier investments like tech stocks less attractive, adding to concerns that the pandemic-fueled boost for tech companies will soon end.
But Microsoft and Tesla, despite their own supply chain issues, posted record profits this week and beat industry expectations. Next week Alphabet, Google’s parent company, and Amazon will release their results for the last three months of 2021, providing insight into the health of online advertising and retail.