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A tale of two tech giants: Apple soars as Twitter shares dive after earnings

Shares of technology companies Apple and Twitter were on the move Wednesday, as Apple soared 8 percent at the open and Twitter sank 12 percent after both companies reported quarterly earnings.

Apple shares ended the day up more than 6 percent, while Twitter shares fell further and ended the day down more than 14 percent.

Apple posted earnings and revenue that topped analysts' expectations on Tuesday, as a bet on the iPhone SE paid off. Meanwhile, Twitter reported mixed results and disappointing sales guidance, although its user base grew more than anticipated.

Apple reported earnings of $1.42 per share on revenues of $42.4 billion, above the $1.38 per share on sales of $42.09 billion expected by a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate. The figure was down against the comparable year-ago number of $1.85 per share on $49.61 billion in revenue.

The company shipped 40.4 million iPhones in the third fiscal quarter, above the 40.02 million expected by StreetAccount estimates.

"At its launch, we said the addition of the iPhone SE to the iPhone lineup placed us in a better position to meet the needs of customers who love a 4-inch phone, and to attract even more customers to our ecosystem," CEO Tim Cook said in a conference call with investors. "In both cases, that strategy is working."

The company debuted the iPhone SE in March for $399 for the 16GB model, much lower than a traditional iPhone debut.

Cook said the phone is popular in both developed and emerging markets, and those switching from other carriers accounted for the highest percentage of quarterly iPhone sales Apple has ever measured.

In its upcoming fourth quarter, Apple expects to earn $45.5 billion to $47.5 billion in revenues. StreetAccount consensus estimates had predicted $45.94 billion.

Twitter though...

Twitter's forward guidance was not as bright.

The social platform said it expects third-quarter revenue of $590 million to $610 million, well below analysts' expectations for $678 million, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.

Twitter said in a statement that both its second-quarter performance and third-quarter outlook reflect "a continuation of the trends discussed last quarter, with less overall advertiser demand than expected." It also said its "brand business remains strong in absolute terms, but there are some new challenges that we're now tackling head-on."

The company posted second-quarter adjusted earnings of 13 cents a share on revenue of $602 million. Wall Street expected it to post earnings of 10 cents a share on revenue of $607 million, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate. Profit per share was up from 7 cents a year earlier, and revenue rose 20 percent.

— CNBC'S Anita Balakrishnan and Christine Wang contributed to this report