Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple,  speaks during an event at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park on September 12, 2018 in Cupertino, California. 

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Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple, speaks during an event at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park on September 12, 2018 in Cupertino, California. 

Apple is expected to report its fiscal fourth quarter earnings after the bell Thursday. The September quarter is key, as investors look for Apple to lock in a strategy of boosting prices to offset slowing sales.

Here’s what Wall Street is expecting:

  • Earnings: $2.78 per share, according to Refinitiv consensus estimates
  • Revenue: $61.57 billion, according to Refinitiv consensus estimates
  • iPhone sales: 47.5 million, according to FactSet and StreetAccount estimates
  • iPhone average selling price (ASP): $750.78, according to FactSet and StreetAccount estimates

Apple has posted only modest sales growth in its flagship iPhone segment for several quarters. To compensate, it’s increased the price of the iPhone, boosting its ASP and overall profit.

For Apple’s fiscal third quarter ending in July, the company posted an ASP of $724 — a nearly 20 percent increase from the year-ago period. For the September quarter, investors will want to know that jump wasn’t a fluke.

Analyst ASP projections of $750.78, based on FactSet and StreetAccount estimates, represents a year-over-year increase of 21.5 percent. Analysts are expecting just 2 percent growth in iPhone unit sales.

A beat on ASP could signal strong sales for Apple’s highest-priced smartphone models: the iPhone XS, starting at $999, and iPhone XS Max, starting at $1,099. Both went on sale about a week before the end of the September quarter. It could also indicate that users are settling into higher device prices.

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