Apple Beats Wall Street Expectations, Snaps Out of iPhone Slump

Tim Cook during an Apple Event
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., speaks during an event in San Francisco on, Sept. 7, 2016.

Apple Inc. today (Jan. 31) reported fiscal first-quarter net income of $17.89 billion. On a per-share basis, the Cupertino, California-based company said it had profit of $3.36. The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $3.22 per share.

The maker of iPhones, iPads and Apple Music's parent company posted revenue of $78.35 billion in the period, also exceeding Street forecasts as analysts expected $76.93 billion.

For the current quarter ending in April, Apple said it expects revenue in the range of $51.5 billion to $53.5 billion. which analysts expected revenue of $52.79 billion.

Apple shares have climbed nearly 5 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has risen nearly 2 percent. In the final minutes of trading on Tuesday, shares hit $121.35, a climb of 26 percent in the last 12 months.

Apple has snapped out of the first sales slump in the iPhone's decade-long history, but the upturn doesn't mean that the company has broken out of its innovation funk.

If anything, the numbers Apple released Tuesday served as the latest reminder of the company's growing dependence on the iPhone while failing so far to come up with another breakthrough product since co-founder Steve Jobs died in 2011.

Meanwhile, Apple's rivals have been rolling out new products in other promising fields such as augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence. Apple has been trailing in these areas.

To make matters worse, Apple's iPhone sales had fallen in three consecutive quarters before it rose 5 percent in the last three months of 2016 to 78.3 million units.