New Highs Continue: Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB) Beat Estimates

Apple Inc. AAPL pushed past Zacks consensus estimates for its fiscal Q4 earnings and revenues after Wednesday’s close, with $3.03 per share beating the $2.81 expected, as well as the $2.91 reported in the year-ago quarter. Sales of $64 billion surpassed the $62.72 billion for the quarter, swinging to positive gains from expectations year over year.


Apple sold more iPhones than expected in the quarter, 33.86 million versus 32.4 million consensus, with its Services business bringing in $12.51 billion, slightly ahead of estimates. Gross margins were 38% in the quarter — not quite the numbers Apple once put up, but admirably strong considering all the headwinds (competition, U.S.-China trade war, etc.). The company has averaged 3% beats in the past four quarters, and its last miss was back in Q1 of 2016.


That said, guidance on the top line for fiscal Q1 2020 is in a range of $81.5 million to $85.5 million, beneath the Zacks consensus of $86.13 billion prior to the earnings release. Nevertheless, shares have risen 1.4% at this hour in the pre-market, though this is below the 2%+ growth we saw immediately following the release.


Facebook FB has easily topped estimates on both revenues and earnings in its Q3 earnings report after the bell today, with $2.12 per share up from the $1.91 expected, and +20% year over year. Revenues of $17.65 billion in the quarter grew 29% from a year ago to $17.65 billion, and over the Zacks consensus $17.32 billion. This is the first earnings beat for the company in the last three quarters.


Shares rose 3% on the news in late trading, on in-line Monthly Active Users (MAU) +8% to 2.45 billion. Daily Active Users (DAU) was up 9% to 1.62 billion, slightly above expectations. For the first time in two years, Facebook has grown by 2 million DAU for the quarter in the U.S. and Canada year over year, and +3% MAU. Average Revenue per User (ARPU) rose $7.26 from the $7.04 anticipated. 


Feeling the heat of Congress ahead of 2020 campaign season, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a lot to feel good about with Facebook’s performance in the quarter. For his part, Zuckerberg said his company is “focused on progress in social issues,” which may mean there is some interest to clean up what congressional oversight sees as problematic business practices in its recent past. For more on FB’s earnings, click here.


Starbucks SBUX met earnings estimates of 70 cents per share in its fiscal Q4 earnings report, up 13% year over year. Sales of $6.75 billion outpaced the $6.67 billion analysts were seeking, up more than 6% from the year-ago quarter. Shares are up 3% in the post-market on the news, and keeps its record of not missing earnings estimates since Q3 2015. Global comps rose 6%, up 5% in China. Shares aren’t cheap, but the market likes the results. For more on SBUX’s earnings, click here.


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