April 24, 2014
On Wednesday, Apple announced iPhone sales of 43.7 million units, or a 16 percent increase year over year. Wall Street was expecting a much lower number. This is just one of the reasons Apple’s stock is on fire ahead of Thursday trading, according to Money. Since Apple announced its second quarter earnings, the company’s stock is up nearly 9 percent in pre-market trading. Besides the unexpected rise in iPhone sales, the stock is flying high thanks to Apple’s decision to increase its share repurchase program to $130 billion, up from $100 billion. Apple’s dividend increase to 8 percent to $3.29 per quarter also helped. Previously, Apple paid $3.05 in dividends per share. Wall Street is also thrilled that Apple announced a seven-to-one stock split, which will take effect on June 9. This change makes the price of a single share of Apple significantly less expensive. More importantly, this change could be enough for Apple to finally be added to the Dow Jones Industrial average. Not everything Apple announced on Wednesday was good news, however. For the quarter, iPad sales dropped more than 15 percent year over year to 16.35 million units. Additionally, iPod sales continued to flounder. In total, Apple announced revenue of $45.6 billion for the March quarter. See also: Apple's 500 Millionth iPhone Has Been Sold.