Apple earnings arrive with trillion-dollar value near

The iPhone maker is expected to extend its string of solid earnings and revenue growth with its latest quarterly report card. (Mark Lennihan/AP)
Updated 31 July 2018
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Apple earnings arrive with trillion-dollar value near

  • The market is eager for news about demand for iPhones and how the company is riding out US-China trade turbulence
  • Apple earnings are likely to be solid, with the average price of iPhones sold rising as buyers opt for the top-end iPhone X

SAN FRANCISCO: Apple will release quarterly earnings figures Tuesday as it flirts with a history-making, trillion-dollar market value based on its share price.
To hit the trillion-dollar mark, Apple shares would have to climb about seven percent from the $189.91 price logged at the close of official trading Monday on the Nasdaq.
The market is eager for news about demand for iPhones and how the company is riding out trade turbulence between the US and China.
President Donald Trump’s trade wars include 25 percent US tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods, with more on the way, and steep tariffs on steel and aluminum, which provoked China and others to hit back with import duties on US goods.
The Silicon Valley-based company is expected to unveil new iPhone models in the fall, sticking with its practice of releasing upgraded models annually ahead of the year-end holiday shopping season.
Sales of iPhones in the quarter could be tame since many fans have historically either bought handsets in prior months or are holding out for new models on the near horizon.
Apple earnings are likely to be solid, with the average price of iPhones sold rising as buyers opt for the top-end iPhone X.
Billions of dollars that Apple has been spending to buy back shares could help propel the company past a trillion-dollar value mark in the stock market.
Early this year, Apple announced it would buy back $100 billion in shares.
Apple has managed to shine, despite bruises to its image that included being accused of keeping young people addicted to smartphones, slowing performance of older iPhones to motivate upgrades and sidestepping taxes by nestling cash in offshore havens.
The market will be watching to see whether a battery replacement program and software changes to improve performance of older iPhones are costing the company.
Apple has battled with the US government over making iPhones so secure even police can’t peek at data, and prides itself on not making money off people’s personal information the way ad-targeting companies such as Facebook do.
Apple has hammered away at the growing amount of money it takes in from music, applications, games, subscriptions and services it sells to people using its devices.
Money made from services is seen as an important element of diversification away from having to rely heavily on selling iPhones.
A 31 percent rise in services to $9.2 billion in the first three months of this year followed big jumps in Apple Pay, Apple Music and other programs.


Saudi Aramco discussing investments in India’s Reliance Industries

Updated 19 min 18 sec ago
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Saudi Aramco discussing investments in India’s Reliance Industries

  • World's biggest oil company targets petrochemicals
  • India is a top investment priority for Saudi Arabia

NEW DELHI: Saudi Aramco’s CEO Amin Nassar said on Wednesday that the company is in talks with India’s Reliance Industries for possible investments and is seeking other opportunities in the country.
Saudi Aramco signed an agreement in April with a consortium of state-owned Indian refiners to participate in a $44 billion refinery project on the country’s west coast.
“We are looking at additional investment in India so we are in discussions with other companies as well, including Reliance and others,” Nasser said in a panel discussion in New Delhi.
“We are looking at it. We are not limited to that investment which is the mega refinery,” Nasser said, referring to the west coast project, which would process 1.2 million bpd of crude and produce 18 million tons per year of petrochemicals.
Nasser is part of the entourage traveling with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is in India for a one-day visit.
Reliance Industries, controlled by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, is India’s biggest refining and petrochemicals company and runs a 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) refinery in western India. It plans to expand the capacity to 2 million bpd by 2030, according to plans shared with the Indian government.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude oil exporter, is keen to expand further into oil refining and petrochemicals.
India would provide a fast growing market for oil and fuels and is already a steady buyer of Saudi oil.
“India is an investment priority for Saudi Aramco. India takes from us almost 800,000 barrels a day and by 2040 India’s total consumption will be around 8.2 million barrels per day,” Nasser said.
India is currently world’s third-biggest crude oil consumer with demand of 4.7 million bpd, according to government figures.
However, Aramco is already facing delays for the refinery project, planned for the western state of Maharashtra, as thousands of farmers have refused to surrender land for it.
Reuters reported on Tuesday the Maharashtra government is looking to move the refinery location.
Yousef Al-Benyan, the chief executive officer for SABIC, the Saudi Arabia-based petrochemical company that is the fourth largest in the world, was also on the panel. He said SABIC wants to expand its business and presence in India.