Earnings Outlook: Apple earnings: It looks like 2016 again, and that is not a good thing

For Apple Inc., it could be 2016 all over again.

The iPhone maker’s revenue declined in each of the first two quarters of this fiscal year, and it’s possible the company could record another drop when Apple AAPL, +0.35% reports fiscal third-quarter earnings Tuesday, with forecasts calling for basically flat sales from a year ago. Consensus figures currently model a substantial sales drop for the September quarter, and a decline of more than $9 billion for the full fiscal year, more than 3%.

Apple has seen sales decline year over year for a full fiscal year, and for three of the four fiscal quarters, only once since 2001.

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