Apple bought US$23.5 billion of stock in the March quarter, and said it planned to hike its dividend 16 per cent, compared with a 10.5 per cent increase past year.
That came on top of $22.8 billion in buybacks executed in the prior quarter, "a record amount for any issue in any quarter", analyst Howard Silverblatt said. The company now has 270 million paid subscribers across applications and its own services, up by 100 million from the same period a year ago.
Operating expenses are expected to come in at $7.7 billion for the third quarter.
Those two forces pushed up Apple shares by 4 percent after hours.
Apple has been emphasizing its contributions to the US economy in recent months, outlining a $30 billion USA spending plan and highlighting the tens of billions of dollars it spends each year with US -based suppliers.
Investors have also anxious that Apple's influence in China, the company's No 2 market, is waning amid stronger competition from Chinese rivals. This year it looks like Apple may leave its fans without any such support. It was being speculated that the 1000 dollar price which is approximately Rs. 66,700, of the new iPhone will result in a decline of sales of iPhone.
Despite that, Apple said it sold 52.2 million iPhones during the quarter, representing an increase of 3% from a similar period in 2017.
At least four brokerages raised their price targets for Apple stock. That included iPhone sales growing 14% to $52.2 billion and met the average analyst estimate.
"I think it's one of those things where a team wins a Super Bowl", explains Cook.
With some $61.1 billion in revenues, Apple has reported its best quarter March. The App Store, Apple Music, iCloud storage and Apple Pay all generated record sales, Cook said.
Wall Street's belief that Apple will pass along most of its cash to shareholders has helped bolster its stock, even though its latest iPhones haven't spurred as much sales growth as most investors hoped.
He also downplayed talk that the smartphone market lacks significant room for growth, saying tremendous upside still exists in key markets in India and more broadly among the large population that still has not bought the gadget.
"China, I continue to believe is a phenomenal country with lots of opportunity from a market point of view, but also lots of opportunity from an app developer's point of view", Cook said during the earnings call.
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