How to make sense of Apple’s quarterly earnings call

During quarterly earnings calls, quite a few executives deploy language created to puff up, excuse or obfuscate their companies’ latest efficiency. The purpose is to make investors pant with delight about implied long term accomplishment. And finally to give the enterprise much more revenue. Constantly. More. Revenue.

But when you’re Apple — with a head-blowing sector cap and a seemingly by no means-ending offer of hit merchandise — you usually don’t require to craft hopeful-however-non-substance statements or deflect inquiries created to get at the bottom line.

Apple’s next earnings get in touch with can take position this afternoon. Unlike in recent calls, CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri may perhaps truly have some undesirable news this time. The enterprise has warned it could take up to an $8 billion revenue hit many thanks to source constraints.

So analysts are erring, somewhat, on the side of caution, expecting Q2 earning for each share of $1.16, a 10.7% decrease from Q3 2021.

Even so, Apple’s 3rd-quarter contact is most likely to be no exception to the earnings-call guidelines of economic wordiness and exaggerated good results. If you are not a professional trader, the economical phrases and buzzwords rattled off by Cook and Maestri can be complicated.

So Cult of Mac attempted to drop light-weight on some of usual earnings-report jargon below.

Apple earnings contact on June 28, 2022

First a little bit of background. Apple’s earnings phone will follow the issuance of the company’s quarterly earnings report, which will be all about the challenging quantities. All through the earnings connect with, Cook dinner and Maestri will study prepared statements and consider inquiries from Wall Road analysts. It’s all an try to put the earnings report’s hard numbers into context for buyers.

Cupertino likely will not battle as a great deal as some firms to justify its modern quantities. It’s a revenue equipment, soon after all. (Just look at the transcript from the final quarterly get in touch with.)

As the most financially rewarding enterprise in the environment, Apple’s value continues to be nicely above $2 trillion, roughly the gross domestic item of South Korea. But as monetary advisers generally warn investors, earlier functionality is not an indicator of foreseeable future results.

If you want to listen in, Apple’s earnings call is scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m. Pacific time. If it’s your 1st time, be guaranteed to study our glossary of phrases ahead of the contact.

Earnings phone glossary of terms


On Apple earnings phone calls, Maestri frequently mentions ASP with no spelling out that it refers to a product’s ordinary sale value (sometimes referred to as common offering price tag). It is generally pointed out in the context of fluctuations in total revenue quantity. Both go up and down.

Foundation factors

A basis stage is a measurement finance folks use to describe the proportion alter in the benefit of a thing, like a company’s gross margin or the influence of a rate modify on a economic instrument like an index fund. 1 basis stage is equal to .01% (1/100th of a p.c). It’s a smaller-sounding matter utilized to describe a huge issue, like an enhance in Apple’s revenue.


This refers to capital expenses, or what Apple spends on “property, plant and tools (PP&E).” These are thought of lengthy-expression expenditures, as opposed to OPEX, or operating expenditures, which are more like day-to-day charges (payroll, lease, advertising and marketing, etc.).

The business sharply diminished its CAPEX spending about the earlier several yrs, then jacked it up massively in 2021 — to 3.5 billion.

That is just 3 months’ truly worth, but on an annual foundation, that would be about the identical as the GDP of Cambodia.

Channel stock

A producer like Apple sells a lot of its items to prospects via merchants. When Apple sells in bulk to a retailer like Target or Amazon, but the retailer has not nevertheless marketed the items to people at a mark-up in price tag, people items are thought of “channel stock.” It’s also recognized as “sell in,” while stock afterwards offered by retailers is recognized as “sell via.”

The producer may not be capable to pinpoint quantities of channel inventory unless of course the retailer reviews its sales. Believe of the retailer as the channel.

Diluted shares

Stocks shares in a enterprise refer to all inventory held by all shareholders. Diluted shares are the full range of shares if a corporation workout routines all of its convertible shares. (Convertible shares are newly issued shares, stock options, stock warrants, convertible bonds and more.)

A rule of thumb is to see primary share worth as how the firm is executing right now diluted share value tells you how it would do in a crisis, if the firm experienced to issue just about every promised share. By both valuation, Apple is executing quite nicely.


When they have dollars, organizations normally established an amount to pay out to shareholders on a common basis, generally quarterly. Which is referred to as a dividend. Apple has form of sucked at this, having to pay irregularly around the yrs, and it has been criticized for it. But Apple began again to shell out standard dividends not long ago.


Earnings are the web advantage of a corporation’s procedure on which tax is assessed. A company’s inventory selling price is set dependent on earnings. Consequently, earnings for every share is a superior way to worth a company’s stock.

In the initial quarter of very last year, Apple reported file earnings — to the tune of $111.4 billion in income, up 21% above the preceding year.  Q2 earnings were being up 54%, a new March quarter report for the business. Q3 also strike a new significant in June. Q4 narrowly skipped anticipations, despite earnings mounting 29%. Q1 2022 was Apple’s biggest quarter at any time.

But really do not get your hopes up, or at least not crazy-superior up. Cupertino’s Q3 2022 earnings may possibly not not leading the latest quarters.

Fiscal yr

For most organizations, the initially quarter of a yr essentially ends in the past week of December. Of course, to you and me which is the conclusion of the earlier calendar year. For firms, that accounts for the common Q1 vacations profits enhance. The fourth quarter presents it up at the end of September.

Gross margin

Gross margin receives at gross earnings relative to net gross sales. Expressed as a percentage, it refers to net product sales minus the value of merchandise bought. It’s calculated as the offering price tag of an product, much less production fees (but not like oblique fixed expenditures like administrative costs). The traditional system is gross margin equals earnings minus value of products offered divided by revenue.


When you sail into a headwind, it slows you down. “Headwinds” is money analyst lingo for challenges that may perhaps interfere with earnings, these types of as new taxation, a glut in the industry or income dips relevant to, perfectly, just about anything. COVID-19? Guaranteed.

Apart from the pandemic, “headwinds” headlines in the past few of several years have referred to the Biden administration’s proposed tax improvements offsetting tax breaks from a number of yrs back and biting into Apple’s gain.

Holiday season

For most suppliers, this refers to late December. For Apple, it pretty much would seem to signify January 1 to December 31, with a bump up at the finish. In any case, it is normally accounted for in the initial quarter earnings of the adhering to yr.

I do not know what your wage is, but Apple manufactured $1 billion for each working day in 2021’s Q1, the a single that bundled the calendar year-end holidays.


When Maestri refers to “a solid mix” or a “a diverse mix” owning an outcome on the numbers, he’s typically referring to the solution combine. That is, all Apple items available for sale in a provided timeframe, taking into thing to consider new releases, delayed launches and occasional empty shelves.


Usually defined on the quarterly report’s revenue assertion (not to be perplexed with the stability sheet or the funds-movement statement), income is just all profits a company helps make from all sources, these types of as revenue of goods and providers.

Below this canopy you can evaluate working income (revenue minus immediate charges) and internet money (aka “the bottom line,” it more accounts for points like interest gained or paid out and, of system, taxes).

We initially released this article on April 27, 2021 and up to date it on July 27, 2021, October 28, 2021, January 27, 2022, April 28, 2022 and June 28, 2022.

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