What to look for when Apple (AAPL) reports Q4 2023 results on Nov. 2

Gadget giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is preparing to report fourth-quarter results on Thursday. Market watchers predict a mixed outcome, which is in line with the company’s cautious guidance forecasting a dip in sales due to difficult comparison with the stronger prior-year quarter.

Apple’s stock dropped after the company reported weak third-quarter results in August, more than a week after retreating from the peak. The stock experienced fluctuations since then and slipped to a five-month low last week. However, a rebound is very much on the cards, and AAPL looks poised to go beyond the $200 mark in the near future.

In Growth Mode

Recently, Apple said that the installed base of its devices climbed to a record high across all geographic segments. The number of paid subscriptions has crossed one billion, which has translated into continued strong growth in services revenue. The transition of the Mac lineup to run exclusively on Apple’s silicon chips has been completed. The company is bullish on the recently launched Apple Vision Pro, the company’s futuristic mixed-reality headset that is touted as one of the most advanced electronic gadgets ever created.  

When the company reports fourth-quarter results on November 2, at 4:30 p.m. ET, the market will be looking for earnings of $1.31 per share vs. $1.29 per share in the year-ago quarter. The latest consensus revenue estimate is $84.18 billion, which is down 6.6% year-over-year.

Key Numbers

The company has impressed its stakeholders by delivering better-than-expected quarterly sales and profit consistently, except in a few quarters. The trend continued in the June quarter when earnings gained about 5% annually and reached $1.26 per share. Meanwhile, revenues dropped modestly to $81.8 billion in Q3, hurt by a decline in the sales of iPhone and iPad. Geographically, sales growth in China and Europe was more than offset by lower volumes in the Americas and Asia Pacific.

Commenting on the third quarter results, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said, “We continued to see strong results in emerging markets, driven by robust sales of iPhone with June quarter total revenue records in India, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UAE. We set June quarter records in a number of other countries as well, including France, the Netherlands, and Austria. And we set an all-time revenue record in Services driven by more than $1 billion paid subscriptions.”

AAPL closed the last session slightly higher, in a sign that it is recovering from the recent downturn ahead of the earnings. The stock, which has gained more than 30% so far this year, is trading above its 52-week average value.

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