Apple profits surge 67%, shares soar
Steve Jobs' consumer electronics giant reports strong quarterly results due to iPhone and iPod sales and record shipments of Macs.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Apple Inc. reported Monday that profits surged 67 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter - a period that saw the sales of more than 10 million iPods, 1 million iPhones and a record 2 million Mac computers.
The results trounced Wall Street's expectations, and shares of the company rose more than 7 percent in after-hours trading.
Apple said it made a profit of $904 million, or $1.01 per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 29. The company reported sales of $6.22 billion, up 29 percent from the same period last year. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected Apple to announce earnings of 86 cents per share on sales of $6.07 billion.
Apple (Charts, Fortune 500) said it sold 10.2 million iPods in the quarter, as well as 1.11 million units of its new iPhone, for which Apple has tapped AT&T (Charts, Fortune 500) as the exclusive U.S. carrier. Apple said the AT&T deal accounted for $118 million in revenue in the quarter.
These sales figures came in a bit below what Caris & Co. analyst Shebly Seyrafi was expecting, however. In a research note before Apple's results were released, he wrote that he was projecting sales of 1.4 million iPhones and 11.5 million iPods in the quarter.
In terms of Mac sales, Apple beat Seyrafi's expectation of 2.05 million units. A particularly good sign, Seyrafi said in a phone conversation, since the company has yet to release its newest operating system, Leopard, which will "add further upside."
Apple sold 2.16 million Macs, more than in any other quarter in the company's history. Apple moved into third place in the domestic PC market behind rival computer makers Dell Inc. (Charts, Fortune 500) and Hewlett-Packard Co (Charts, Fortune 500)., according to data for the third quarter from market research firm IDC.
Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple also on Monday issued guidance for its next first quarter, which ends in December, that was higher than analysts' consensus estimates.
Apple said it expected to report revenue of about $9.2 billion and earnings of $1.42 per share in the next quarter, compared with forecasts of $8.58 billion in sales and a profit of $1.39 per share.
"We're looking forward to a strong December quarter as we enter the holiday season with Apple's best products ever," said Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs in a prepared statement.