Apple Crushes Profit Estimates as iPhone, iPod Sales Soar

Applecrushed earnings estimates as sales of iPhones and iPods soared. The company also projected earnings for the current quarter that were higher than analyst projections.

New iPod Nano
New iPod Nano

The technology giant delivered fiscal first-quarter earnings excluding items of $13.87 a share, double the $6.43 a share recorded in the year-earlier period.

Revenue jumped 73 percent to $46.3 billion from $26.74 billion a year ago.

Analysts had expected the company to report earnings excluding items of $10.10 per share on revenue of $38.9 billion, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

The company said it sold 37 million iPhones, 15.4 million iPads and 5.2 million Macs during the quarter — all new records and all beating analysts' expectations.

“We’re thrilled with our outstanding results and record-breaking sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Apple’s momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline.”

The company also said it ended the quarter with $97.6 billion in cash.

In a conference call following the report, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said, "We are actively discussing uses of the cash balance but have nothing to announce."

Apple's outlook also topped expectations: The company pegs earnings of $8.50 a share on revenue of $32.5 billion for its fiscal second quarter. Analysts currently project earnings of $8.04 a share on revenue of $32.1 billion.

"Overall the results are phenomenal," said Hendi Susanto, an analyst at Gabelli & Co. "The highlight of the results are the gross margins which are extremely strong despite concerns that the iPad carried lower than corporate average gross margin and that it would dilute overall gross margin. That's the biggest takeaway."

"Going into 2012 I expect strength of iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad should carry on into the year. Apple still has some tailwind including opening up new retail stores and expanding its distribution channels," Susanto said.

During the quarter, which ended on Dec. 11, Apple's longtime CEO Steve Jobsdied, several weeks after he had handed over the company's reins to Cook.

On Oct. 4, Cook unveiled the newest iPhone, the iPhone 4S, which drew a rare outburst of disappointment on the Internet.

Apple shares jumped above $460 a share in after-hours trading. (Click for after-hour quote.)

Shares of companies that supply parts to Apple also soared, including Cirrus Logic, Nuance Communications, Triquint Semiconductor and Qualcomm. (Click for after-hours quotes.)

— Reuters contributed to this article.