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Apple Sees First Quarterly Revenue Increase in a Year

Apple Sees First Quarterly Revenue Increase in a Year

The iPhone maker’s share price dropped in after-hour trading even though sales and profit topped Wall Street expectations.

Apple has had plenty of challenges to start the year. The Apple Watch has been altered by patent lawsuits, the App Store has come under fire from developers, and the iPhone has faced renewed competition in China.

Topping it all off, the company was recently dethroned as the undisputed king of the stock market when Microsoft replaced it as the world’s most valuable public company.

But on Thursday, the tech giant showed the versatility and strength of its business, reporting that sales rose 2 percent to $119.58 billion during the three months that ended in December. It was the first quarterly revenue increase for Apple in a year and helped the company deliver $33.92 billion in profit during the period, a 13 percent increase from a year earlier.

The results showed that Apple had the ability to overcome a slowdown in device sales by getting its enormous customer base to buy more apps and services, such as Apple Music. The company said sales of software and services rose 11 percent to $23.12 billion during the period.

Shares of Apple fell about 3 percent in after-hours trading, even though the company exceeded analysts’ expectations for $117.99 billion in sales. The company said sales in the current quarter would be down from a year ago, disappointing Wall Street analysts who had expected a modest increase.

Though its signature products, the iPhone and iPad, are more than a decade old, Apple said the number of its devices in use around the world last year had increased by 200 million from the two billion it reported a year ago. Investors watch that figure closely because as iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches proliferate, more people are willing to pay Apple for things like cloud-computing storage.

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