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Apple breaks sales record with $100 billion quarter

January 27, 2021, 9:43 PM UTC

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Apple’s final quarter of 2020 was a record breaker, as the company sold more phones and computers than ever despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fueled by stay-at-home workers and students snapping up computers running Apple’s new M1 processor and its new line of 5G-compatible phones, Apple had $111.4 billion in sales, its first-ever quarter over $100 billion, and a 21% increase from a year earlier. Earnings per share of $1.68 were up 35% from a split-adjusted $1.25 a year ago.

Both sales and profits were better than analysts expected, but Apple’s stock, already on a torrid run recently, lost 1% in after-hours trading on Wednesday to around $141. Before the earnings release, the company’s shares closed at $142.42 on Wednesday, up 24% over the past three months and almost 80% over the past year, putting its stock market capitalization at close to $2.4 trillion.

Apple’s new line of iPhones, the first compatible with superfast new 5G networks, led the way with sales of $65.6 billion. That was a 17% increase, even though most carriers in the U.S. are still in the midst of building out new 5G networks, and there are not yet any compelling applications for consumers that require 5G.

Apple’s $100 billion quarter, though unusual in the tech sector, is not unprecedented among U.S. companies. Walmart, for example, has exceeded $100 billion in sales every quarter for many years.