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Apple Profit Jumps 94% On Strong IPhone, IPad Sales


Apple Inc. (AAPL) said Tuesday after the markets closed that its second quarter profit jumped 94% from last year, driven by strong sales of its iPhones and iPad multimedia devices.

The company's quarterly earnings per share also breezed past Wall Street expectations as did its quarterly revenue.

However, the world's most valuable company forecast third quarter revenue and earnings below analysts' current consensus estimates.

"We're thrilled with sales of over 35 million iPhones and almost 12 million iPads in the March quarter," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "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."

Apple shares are currently gaining 6.37% in after hours trading after closing the day's regular trading session at $560.28, down $11.42 or 2.00%. The shares trade in a 52-week range of $310.50 to $644.00.

Apple sold 4 million Macintosh computers during the second quarter, up 7% from the year-ago quarter.

iPhone sales jumped 88% year-over-year to 35.1 million units in the second quarter, while iPad sales surged 151% to 11.8 million units. The iPhone's huge success has attracted many technology majors to the lucrative smartphone market.

Apple revolutionized the mobile computing market when it introduced the iPad in April 2010. The company introduced the second generation of the device, iPad 2, in March last year.

And in March this year, the company released the third version of the device called "new iPad". The latest version of iPad comes with a new faster A5X chip, sharper screen resolution, and an improved 5 megapixel camera. The new iPad also supports the 4G LTE wireless connectivity.

The iPad has been extremely popular ever since its initial launch. Although several companies have launched their tablets, none has been able to match the popularity and saleability of Apple's iPad.

Second quarter sales of the company's iPod music players dropped 15% to 7.7 million units in the quarter.

Continued stronghold on the smartphone and tablet market, robust earnings growth and the company's huge cash horde have stoked investor enthusiasm for Apple shares, which hit an all time high of $644.00 on April 10.

Brian White, an analyst at Wall Street brokerage Topeka Capital Markets, has predicted that Apple shares will touch the $1,001 mark in the next twelve months.

On February 29, Apple became only the sixth company ever to cross $500 billion in market value. Only Microsoft, Cisco, General Electric, Intel and Exxon Mobil have ever entered this exclusive club, but none of them were able to maintain the position for long. when its stock market value topped the mark.

In mid-March, Apple announced plans to again start paying quarterly dividends, and also set a $10 billion share repurchase program. The company paid its last dividend in December 1995.

Cook took over as chief executive officer on August 24, succeeding the charismatic Steve Jobs. A little more than a month later, Jobs passed away on October 5.

For the second quarter ended March 31, 2012, the Cupertino, California-based computing and electronics company reported net income of $11.6 billion or $12.30 per share, compared to $6.00 billion or $6.40 per share for the year-ago quarter.

On average, 44 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $10.06 per share for the second quarter.

Gross margin for the quarter improved to 47.4% from 41.4% in the prior year quarter, while operating margin for the quarter increased to 39.3% from 31.9% a year earlier.

Net sales for the second quarter surged 59% to $39.19 billion from $24.67 billion in the same quarter last year. International sales accounted for 64% of the quarter's revenue. Forty-three analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $36.81 billion for the second quarter.

Looking forward to the third quarter, the company forecast revenue of about $34 billion and earnings of about $8.68 per share. Analysts currently expect the company to earn $9.93 per share on revenue of $37.40 billion for the third quarter.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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