Apple Profit Soars 94%, Stock Up 7%

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Aly Song / Reuters

So much for those Apple jitters. The Cupertino, Calif. cash machine blew past Wall Street estimates Tuesday, reporting yet another monster quarter of financial results. The company’s stock soared nearly 7% after-hours, adding $1 billion of market capitalization in a matter of minutes. The superlative results show that Apple products continue to fly off shelves as fast as the company can build them.

Apple, the world’s most valuable company, reported quarterly profit of $11.6 billion, compared to $6 billion one year ago, on revenue of $39.2 billion, a 59% increase over last year. Earnings came in at $12.30 per share — compared or $6.40 per share, a year ago — handily beating Wall Street expectations of  $10.07 per share.

Apple shipped 35.1 million iPhones in the quarter, an 88% increase over last year, strongly outpacing the smartphone industry average of 44%, as measured by research firm IDC. The company sold 11.8 million iPads, a 151% increase over last year, when the company sold 4.7 million. Apple also shipped 4 million Mac computers, a 15% increase over last year.

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“We’re thrilled with sales of over 35 million iPhones and almost 12 million iPads in the March quarter,” Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in a statement. “The new iPad is off to a great start, and across the year you’re going to see a lot more of the kind of innovation that only Apple can deliver.”

On a conference call with analysts, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said that iPhone sales in China, the world’s largest country, grew five times compared to last year. The company had sales of $7.9 billion in greater China over the last three months, a three-fold increase compared to last year. Apple said that 55% of total sales came from foreign countries.

Apple said is it now sitting on $110 billion in cash. Asked about the potential for iPad sales going forward, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the tablet market is still in the nascent stages. “I think the limit here is nowhere in sight,” Cook said. “It’s a profound product, the breadth is incredible and the appeal is universal.”

Cook said the the iPad remains “supply constrained” on a global basis, meaning the company still cannot produce the devices to meet consumer demand for it.

If there was one bit of apparent pessimism to the results, it came in the company’s forecast for the next quarter. Apple said it expects sales of $34 billion and earnings per share of about $8.68, compared to analyst expectations of $37.4 billion and $9.92 per share. Oppenheimer attributed the softer forecast to the company’s “extremely successful” roll-outs of the iPhone 4S and new iPad. “We were able to fulfill demand in the March quarter rather than the June quarter,” he said.

However, it’s important to remember that Apple habitually low-balls earnings estimates, so investors shouldn’t be surprised if the company outpaces expectations next quarter.