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Apple Profit Leaps, Easily Outpaces Forecasts

Applereported a profit that blew past analysts' estimates, pushing its shares higher, as sales of its iPhones and Macs easily topped what analysts expected.

New iPod Nano
Source: apple.com
New iPod Nano

The maker of computers and personal electronics reported a net profit of $5.99 billion, or $6.40 a share, in its fiscal second quarter. That compared with $3.33 a share a year earlier on the same basis.

On the sales side, Apple garnered $24.67 billion in revenue, a full 83 percent higher than $13.499 billion from a year before.

Analysts who follow Apple expected the company to report a profit of $5.37 a share on sales of $22.383 billion, according to an estimate compiled by Thomson Reuters.

Apple's gross margins for the second quarter came in at 41.4 percent, compared with 41.7 percent a year earlier.

The company said it expects June quarter earnings of $5.03 a share on sales of $23 billion. The company has a reputation among investors for consistently low-balling its financial outlook.

In the quarter, the company sold 3.76 million Macintosh computers and 18.65 million iPhones. Both figures were above analysts' estimates, which stood at 3.64 million and 16.3 million, respectively.

"You've got a company, it's best capturing the profits going on in the mobile space. The iPhone continues to set records," said analyst Colin Gillis at BGC Partners.

However, sales of iPods and iPads came in short of estimates. Sales of iPods were 9 million, versus expectations of 9.85 million.

The number of iPads sold was 4.69 million. Some analysts had projected shipments of closer to or even more than 6 million for the tablet computer launched on March 11.

But the lower-than-expected number could be attributed to the fact that Apple recognizes revenue from its stores when its customers receive the products. The initial wait time for the iPad 2 was four to five weeks.

"The iPad numbers were light though not really surprised. We don't even have full year data on it. Also in the quarter the product got refreshed," Gillis said. "I was looking for 6 million in sales."

Shares of Apple were about 3 percent higher in extended trading. Get after-hour quotes for Apple here.

The stock finished the regular Nasdaq session more than 1 percent higher at $342.41.

Apple's results come as it prepares to build the next iPhone model with a faster processor, which will begin shipping in September, three people with direct knowledge of the company's supply chain said on Wednesday.

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