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Apple investors eye holiday quarter potential

Forecast-beating financials lead some to believe iMaker can top last year’s record-breaking profit

The Cupertino firm’s Greater China sales almost doubled, year on year.
The Cupertino firm’s Greater China sales almost doubled, year on year.

Apple investors are hoping for another record-breaking holiday quarter following forecast-beating financials from its fourth fiscal quarter, announced yesterday, Reuters reported.

Apple, which will open its first Middle East brick-and-mortar retail units tomorrow, in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, saw shares up as much as 3% in after-hours trading, but initial excitement waned and stock prices normalised.

The Cupertino firm's Greater China sales almost doubled, year on year, to reach $12.52bn and represented a quarter of total revenue for the period.

But sales across the whole of the China market dropped by just over 5% from Apple's fiscal third quarter, when the company raked in $13.2bn. If analysts are correct, and China replaces the US as Apple's biggest market, declines such as this may prove to have increasing significance.

Some analysts are upbeat about Apple's prospects to surpass last year's holiday sales, which led to the most profitable quarter in US corporate history, but others fear the company may struggled to increase market share in emerging markets.