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FINANCIAL ROUNDUP: Apple Profit Jumps, Shares Slip

July 22, 2015
Toshiba sells Kone stock in accounting scandal fallout, BHP Billiton reports iron ore output increase, British EasyJet profits jump double digits.

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple’s latest quarterly profit jumped as iPhones continued to be snapped up around the world, but the company’s shares slipped as analysts had expected even more.

The tech giant reported Tuesday that its profit jumped 38% to $10.7 billion on surging iPhone sales, compared to $7.7 billion in the same period last year. Nevertheless, Apple shares fell sharply in afterhours trading, at one point down around 8% as traders noticed lower than expected sales forecasts.

“We had an amazing quarter,” CEO Tim Cook insisted, noting that iPhone revenue in the quarter that ended on June 27 was up 59% from the same period a year earlier. Apple shares dropped more than 6% to $122.41 in after-market trades that followed release of the earnings figures.

Apple sold 47.5 million iPhones in the quarter, with sales up 85% in Greater China where the company’s overall revenue more that doubled to $13 billion, accord to chief financial officer Luca Maestri.

TOSHIBA: TOKYO — Toshiba has sold its stake in Finnish engineering giant Kone for almost $1.0 billion to bolster its balance sheet, the firm said Wednesday, after its president and a string of other executives quit over an accounting scandal.

The vast Japanese conglomerate said its elevator unit sold about 24 million shares, or 4.6% of Kone’s outstanding stock, for a total of 864.7 million euros ($945 million). Toshiba’s announcement comes a day after company president Hisao Tanaka and several other senior figures resigned over a $1.2 billion accounting scandal blamed on their overzealous pursuit of profit.

BHP BILLITON: SYDNEY — Mining giant BHP Billiton reported an increase in iron ore output for the June quarter on Wednesday, but a decline in gas production as shale projects were delayed due to weak oil prices.

The Anglo-Australian firm said ore output for the three months to June rose by 6% from the same period last year. This took the overall increase for the 2015 financial year which ended on June 30 to 14%, for a record 233 million tonnes of iron ore.

EASYJET: LONDON — Low-cost British airline EasyJet forecast on Wednesday that annual profits would rise by almost 14%, buoyed by demand for beach holidays in Europe.

Shares surged after EasyJet predicted pre-tax profit would grow to between £620 million and £660 million ($969 million and $1.03 billion) in its 2014/2015 financial year to the end of September. That compared with £581 million in the company’s previous fiscal year, EasyJet said in an upbeat statement on its third quarter or three months to the end of June.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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