Apple Inc reported a surprise fall in iPhone sales for its second quarter on Tuesday. The blue chip company with a hoard of $250billion plus in cash and investments sold 50.76 million phones, less than the 51.19 million phones sold at the comparative period last year.
Apple responding to pressure from shareholders, according to Reuters, boosted its capital return program by $50 billion, increased its share repurchase authorization by $35 billion and raised its quarterly dividend by 10.5 percent.
Investors were unmoved, sending shares of the world’s most valuable listed company down 1.9 percent at $144.65 in after-hours trading.
Analysts on average had estimated iPhone sales of 52.27 million, according to financial data and analytics firm FactSet.
Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri argued the decline was not as bad as it looked, given the peculiarities of how phone sales are calculated.
The company reports what are called “sell-in” figures for the iPhone, a measure of how many units it sells to retailers, rather than “sell-through” figures, which measure how many phones are actually sold to consumers.
Maestri said the company reduced the volume of inventory going through its retail channel by about 1.2 million units in the quarter, meaning the company sold about 52 million phones to customers on a sell-through basis.
Despite the dip in unit sales, iPhone revenues rose 1.2 percent in the quarter, helped by a higher average selling price.