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Disappointing revenue forecast

Reuters
Saturday, February 03, 2018

APPLE Inc on Thursday gave a disappointing revenue forecast for the first three months of 2018 and its sales of iPhones over the holiday quarter missed Wall Street's expectations, deepening concerns that enthusiasm for the iPhone has permanently waned since its 2015 peak.

But the company's disclosure that it plans to draw down at least $US163 billion ($F325b) in net cash, potentially returning the cash to shareholders, helped boost shares 3.3 per cent to $US173.48 ($F346) in after-the-bell trading while the market seemed to also greet the revenue outlook without alarm.

"Over time, we are trying to target a capital structure that is approximately net neutral. We will have approximately the same level of cash and debt on the balance sheet," Apple's chief financial officer, Luca Maestri, told Reuters in an interview.

"We're going to take that balance down from $US163b ($F325b) to zero," Mr Maestri said, referring to Apple's current level of cash net of debt.

He did not say whether the reduction in net cash would come in the form of returning capital to shareholders, capital expenditures or acquisitions.

The cash plans are a "pleasant surprise," Brian Colello, an analyst at Morningstar Inc, said.

"This goes a bit against Apple's historically conservative capital structure."








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