Apple optimistic as iPhone price cuts help in China, watches pull…

(Reuters) – Apple Inc on Tuesday forecast stronger-than-expected third-quarter revenue and Chief Executive Tim Cook said iPhone sales had started to stabilize in China, a sign that Apple’s price cuts there are helping limit sales declines.

FILE PHOTO: Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the Anti-Defamation League’s “Never is Now” summit in New York City, New York, U.S., December 3, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Apple said it spent $27 billion on share buybacks and dividends during the fiscal second quarter, which is a record for the company. Apple also said its board had authorized an additional $75 billion in share repurchases and raised its dividend by 5 percent.

“I imagine people are extrapolating the positive developments in China near quarter end and looking forward to a better environment there,” said Hal Eddins, chief economist at Apple shareholder Capital Investment Counsel. “For me, the driver for tonight’s (share price) move is the dividend hike … and more importantly the $75 billion buy back. Either way, I’ll take it.”

(Graphic: Apple earnings link: here)

Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Sayanti Chakraborty in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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