Apple delivers strong profits, but investors punish shares

Apple has delivered blockbuster earnings, but saw shares punished after a disappointing holiday season forecast and word that it will stop reporting how many iPhones it sells.

The California-based technology giant makes most of its money from iPhones, and sales numbers have been seen as a bellwether of the company's fortunes.

Apple shares dove 6.5 percent to 207.78 in after-market trades following the release of earnings figures for a record-setting September quarter.

The firm said net profit climbed 32 percent to 14.13 billion on revenue that was up 20 percent to 62.9 billion with help from growing sales of digital content and services to users and other Apple gadgetry.

"We're thrilled to report another record-breaking quarter that caps a tremendous fiscal 2018, the year in which we shipped our two billionth iOS device, celebrated the 10th anniversary of the App Store and achieved the strongest revenue and earnings in Apple's history," said chief executive Tim Cook.

However, the market was disappointed that Apple fell short of expectations with sales of 46.9 million iPhones and a forecast for the key holiday season that was not as robust as anticipated.

The average sale price for the latest iPhones was 793, indicating that Apple was able to deliver more of its priciest handsets.

Apple offered no detailed breakdown of iPhone sales, but Cook said "the response has been powerful" to the new 10S models that sell for 1,000 and up.

(Agencies)