Depsite banking $9.5bn in net profit and growing its cash pile by $8bn to $145bn, chief executive Tim Cook acknowledged that Apple's Q2 results, and the manner in which the company's share price has fallen in recent months, will have disappointed some market watchers.
For Apple's second fiscal quarter, which ended on 30 March, the Cupertino-based vendor grew revenue 11.2 per cent annually to $43.6bn (£28.5bn). But net profit fell from $11.6bn in Q2 last year to $9.5bn this time out, equating to a decline in margins from 29.6 to 21.8 per cent.
Sales of Macs during the quarter remained more-or-less flat year on year at about four million, while unit sales of iPads grew by almost two thirds to 19.5 million. Apple also increased quarterly sales of iPhones from 35.1 to 37.4 million.
For its third quarter, Apple expects to post sales of between $33.5 and $35.5bn, with gross margins of 36 to 37 per cent.
In a conference call with investors, transcribed by Seeking Alpha, Cook said: "Despite producing results that met or beat our guidance as we have done consistently, we know they didn't meet everyone's expectations, and though we've achieved incredible scale and financial success, we acknowledge that our growth rate has slowed and our margins have decreased from the exceptionally high level we experienced in 2012."
After hitting a $700-a-share high in September, Apple's stock price has fallen sharply in recent months, sinking below $400 this week. Cook admitted his concern, but stressed that the vendor should dedicate most of its efforts to the task of making great products.
"The decline in Apple's stock price over the last couple of quarters has been very frustrating to all of us," he said. "But Apple remains very strong and we will continue to do what we do best. We can't control items such as exchange rates and world economies and even certain cost pressures, but the most important objective for Apple will always be creating innovative products and that is directly within our control."
Apple has also announced that it will be increasing its capital return programme by $55bn, taking the total to $100bn. Payments will be made to shareholders by the end of the 2015 calendar year.
"We believe so strongly that repurchasing our shares represents an attractive use of our capital that we have dedicated the vast majority of the increase in our capital return program to share repurchases," added Cook.
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