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Apple far exceeds earnings forecast

July 19, 2011 at 6:44 PM   |   Comments

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CUPERTINO, Calif., July 19 (UPI) -- U.S. computer maker Apple Tuesday booked record results for its third quarter, with its $7.31 billion in net profits far outpacing predictions.

Apple posted its results after the bell, sending its shares shooting upward in after-hours trading, Fox News said, even though the Cupertino, Calif., company issued a conservative forecast for the next quarter.

The $7.31 billion in profits amounted to $7.79 per share -- more than double its performance of $3.25 billion, or $3.51 per share in the year-ago period.

Apple reported its revenue spiked to $28.57 billion, up from $15.70 billion in its third quarter last year. Analysts had expected sales under $25 billion.

"We're thrilled to deliver our best quarter ever, with revenue up 82 percent and profits up 125 percent," Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs said in a statement. "Right now, we're very focused and excited about bringing iOS 5 and iCloud to our users this fall."

Apple's performance was keyed by iPhone sales, which came in at 20.3 million units. Mac computer sales were below expectations at 3.9 million units.

For the fourth quarter, Apple forecast earnings of $5.50 a share on revenue of $25 billion, while analysts are foreseeing $6.42 a share on revenue of $27.70 billion.

Ahead of Tuesday's close, Apple shares were up nearly 1 percent at $376.85. They then soared another $27.80 a share, or more than 7 percent, in after-hours trading.

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