Technology icon Apple reported record earnings Tuesday on blowout holiday sales of its signature iPhone and iPad devices. The results far exceeded Wall Street expectations and demonstrated that the company’s momentum continues unabated after the death last fall of its revered founder Steve Jobs. Apple shares soared 8% on the news.
The company, based in Cupertino, Calif., reported net profit of $13.1 billion compared with $6 billion one year ago, and sales of $46.3 billion compared with $26.7 billion last year. Wall Street analysts had been expecting sales of $38.9 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.
“We’re thrilled with our outstanding results and record-breaking sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “Apple’s momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline.”
Apple sold a whopping 37 million iPhones last quarter, a 128% increase compared with one year ago, and 15.4 million iPads, a 111% increase. Mac computer sales, meanwhile, increased by 26% to 5.2 million units.
(More: Steve Jobs — The Inventor of the Future)
During a conference call with analysts following the earnings report, Cook said that the company could not meet demand for iPhone 4S sales during the quarter and ended the period with a product backlog. It’s a problem Apple has had before: literally not being able to produce enough products to meet consumer demand. Cook said demand for the iPhone in China has been “staggering.”
Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO, said the company is “actively” discussing what to do with its astonishing $97.6 billion cash hoard, but he declined to be specific.
Looking ahead to the next quarter, Apple says it expects sales of $32.5 billion and earnings per share of about $8.50, exceeding Wall Street estimates of $31.9 billion and $8 per share, respectively.