Why Apple shares dived after a "challenging" first quarter

iPhone sales have fallen for the first time...

Why Apple shares dived after a "challenging" first quarter

Mark Lennihan / AP

As expected, Apple announced its first fall in quarterly revenues in 13 years in California last night, but the worse than expected sales and earnings per share outcome caused the group’s shares to fall by close to 8% last night, to $96.

The group reported revenues of $50.6bn for the second quarter to the end of March – down 13% on the same period last year while earnings per share fell by nearly 20% to $1.90.

The number of iPhones – by far Apple’s greatest revenue earner, also fell for the first time on annualised basis since it was launched in 2007.

While the number sold in the three-month period, 51.2m, was higher than expectations, they sold at lower average prices leading to the sharper fall in overall revenues.

Apple also issued a far gloomier outlook than expected for the current quarter with a forecast that revenues could fall as low as $41bn, against expectations of $47bn.

In a conference call, Tim Cook referred to the quarter as "busy and challenging."

He added that he believed that his "team executed extremely well in the face of strong macroeconomic headwinds."

The CEO also pointed to poor market conditions, saying, "I think that the market, as you know, is currently not growing.

"However, my view is that’s an overhang of macroeconomic environment in many different places in the world. We are very optimistic that this too shall pass and that the market, and particularly us, shall grow again."

Galway

Apple's proposed €850m data centre in Athenry, Co Galway faces an oral hearing with An Bord Pleanála.

Objections to the project, which will create 300 construction jobs, range from fears over power supply and traffic congestion to concerns for the health of the local bat population.

The US firm says that it will, "Welcome the opportunity to address any additional questions An Bord Pleanála may have."

"Our plans are for our greenest data centre yet, which is designed to be sympathetic to its surroundings and, like all our data centres, run on 100% renewable energy from day one," it continued.