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Although critics will say that Apple (AAPL - Free Report) has lost some of its luster over the past few years, you better believe that investors will be paying attention when the world’s largest publicly-traded company releases its fiscal second-quarter financial results this afternoon.  

The technology behemoth has been one of the hottest stocks on Wall Street so far this year, and shares are up nearly 12% in just the last 12 weeks. Of course, if Apple wants to continue that momentum, it will have to deliver another solid quarterly earnings report on May 2.

Last quarter, the company posted earnings of $3.36 per share and revenues of $78.4 billion, easily topping the respective consensus estimates of $3.22 and $76.9 billion. Total iPhone unit sales grew 5% to about 78.3 million in the all-important holiday quarter, and Services revenue—the segment that includes the App Store, Apple Music, and Apple Pay—surged 18%.

So what’s in store for Apple this quarter? Well, Apple guided for revenue between $51.5 billion and $53.5 billion, and our current consensus estimates call for revenue of $52.61 billion and earnings of $2.01 per share.

Of course, earnings and revenue are just two of the many things investors will be looking at when Apple reports. Check out these three additional things to expect:

1.       iPhone unit sales will come in at about 52 million

According to our consensus estimate, which compiles figures from 19 independent analysts, iPhone unit sales are expected to come in at 51.82 million this quarter. This is a slight uptick from the 51.2 million units sold in the year-ago quarter, and it should be encouraging to see continued growth in this segment after a brief stretch of slumping sales. Apple sold about 78.3 million iPhones in the previous quarter, which marked growth of about 5%.


2.       Revenues from China will continue to be sluggish

Last year, Apple reported sales of $12.49 billion in the Greater China region. However, based on the estimates of four analysts, our consensus estimate calls for sales of $11.41 billion in the region this quarter. China is Apple’s second-largest market behind the Americas, but Chinese regulators have made operations more difficult for outside services that directly compete with the country’s domestic offerings. Add these conditions to the uncertainty that has surrounded the Chinese economy recently, and it’s easy to see why Apple might struggle in the region.


3.       The Services unit will continue its impressive growth

As mentioned before, the growth of Apple’s Services unit was one of the most impressive parts of its last report. This quarter, our consensus estimate—based on 20 separate estimates—calls for Services revenue of $6.78 billion this quarter. This would represent growth of 13.2% from last year’s Q2 total of $5.99 billion. At least part of these gains can be attributed to the insane growth of Apple Music, the company’s music streaming service that reportedly has more than 40 million users.


Make sure to check back here for our full report once Apple reports on Tuesday!

Want more stock market analysis from this author? Make sure to follow @Ryan_McQueeney on Twitter!

For coverage of the biggest tech earnings reports that have already been released, check out this week's Friday Finish Line podcast: 

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