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Apple set to join $100bn sales club for first time after record-breaking quarter

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Suban Abdulla
·3 min read
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CUPERTINO, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Tim Cook opens the Apple's annual product launch, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, at company headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty Images)
CUPERTINO, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Tim Cook opens the Apple's annual product launch, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, at company headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty Images)

Apple (AAPL) is expected to unveil its first-ever quarter with more than $100bn (£73m) in revenue on Wednesday. The tech giant will report results for the final three months of 2020.

Analysts expect Apple’s hardware sales in the critical pre-Christmas trading period and strong demand for its iPhone 12 to bolster figures to record-breaking heights.

Apple’s fiscal first-quarter results will be the first to include sales from its iPhone 12. While there was a delay in supply constraints, analysts think the company’s first 5G-enabled phones were the most successful product launch in five years.

The iPhone maker’s network of subscription services have also helped Apple to overcome the disruption it suffered during the early stages of COVID-19 when the pandemic hit its supply chain and demand.

But, despite the coronavirus pandemic which has dented many companies, Apple has seen strong sales of its Macs and iPads with more people working and studying from home amid lockdowns.

“Over the last 12 months, Apple services revenue has grown to the point that they make up a much greater proportion of its overall revenue, however it is still at heart a hardware provider, and while Apple TV+ is expected to see some gains against the likes of Netflix (NFLX), Amazon Prime and Disney+ (DIS), hardware sales still drive the company forward,” said Michael Hewson chief analyst at CMC Markets.

Other firms that have achieved quarterly sales in excess of $100bn, including Walmart (WMT) and Exxon Mobil (XOM).

Chart: Yahoo Finance
Analysts tracked by FactSet expect that Apple earned $1.41 a share in the December quarter, up from $1.25 in 2019. Chart: Yahoo Finance

Apple shares made gains following three of the past five earnings reports. Shares in the company are up 72% over the past year as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI), which counts the tech firm as a component, has gained 7%.

READ MORE: Volkswagen resilient despite COVID-19 as it posts $12bn profit

Last week, Netflix beat analysts’ forecast. The streaming platform added more than 200 million subscribers, which lifted its shares to new highs.

Amazon (AMZN), which is due to publish its earnings in the first week of February, is expecting sales of between $112bn and $121bn for the same time period.

Microsoft (MSFT), Facebook (FB) and Tesla (TSLA) are also scheduled to report in the coming days, as Big Tech earning season gets underway.

Apple, which produces iPhones, Macs, watches, and offers services including iCloud and Apple Music is one of the world’s most valuable firms in the world, with a market value of more than $2trn.

The Silicon Valley firm founded in 1976 and based in Cupertino California plans to increase manufacturing by almost 30% to produce as many as 96 million smartphone devices in the first half, according to Nikkei.

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