Heading into the earnings report, analysts had forecast $2.45 per share, but Apple shattered those estimates by posting $3.33 a share for the quarter. During the same period last year, the company reported earnings of $1.79 per share.
Revenue for the quarter was also above expectations at $13.5 billion versus analysts' estimates of $12.04 billion.
The iPhone was a big reason for Apple's success during the quarter, with the company selling a remarkable 8.7 million of the devices -- more than double the number that it sold during the same period last year.
Apple's computer business also performed well, with a 33% increase in the number of Macs sold versus the same period last year. In all, Apple sold close to 3 million Mac computers as it continues to increase its market share of the personal computer market.
Before the iPhone was making all the headlines, there was the iPod. The iPod really helped the company out when it needed a boost, but iPod sales have been dropping a bit lately, partially due to the fact that so many people have replaced their iPods with iPhones. iPod sales were down slightly in the first quarter, with 1% fewer iPods sold than during the same period last year. For the quarter, Apple sold 10.9 million iPods.
Looking ahead, Apple hopes that its newest introduced gadget -- the iPad -- will become as popular as its iPhone. Sales figures for the iPad were not part of the company's second quarter, so we will not see its impact until the next earnings report, but the company has confirmed that it sold over a half million iPads in its first two weeks on the market.
Since first hitting the scene back in 2007, the iPhone has been a very popular smartphone choice, both because of its ease of use and all the hype that builds whenever it releases a new model. Hype for the upcoming iPhone version is already in full bloom after someone found a prototype of the new phone at a bar over the weekend. Engadget wrote a good review of the new iPhone, which will probably be released in a couple months.
The amazing thing is the growth the company is seeing during the current time when consumer spending has just started to resume after the recession. It could be a very bright future for the company once consumers really start to spend again.
One thing is for sure, when the new phone hits the market, there will be the same reaction there has been each time a new iPhone is released... long lines and long waiting lists. And of course, more money for Apple.
Apple likes to be very conservative with its forward estimates, and for the current quarter it forecast earnings of $2.28 to $2.39 per share, versus analysts' estimates of $2.79, but that did nothing to dampen the spirits of after-hours traders.
With the new iPad, the upcoming iPhone, and who knows what else, this is one stock that is tough to bet against, and after- hours traders definitely rewarded the company for its strong quarter, pushing shares to an all-time high of $258.90, up $14.31.
What are your thoughts on Apple? Can the stock continue its recent run, or should we be looking at a correction in the not-too-distant future? Considering that Apple beat estimates by almost a dollar, is it possible that even at its current level the stock is still "inexpensive"?
For a better idea of just how strong the stock has been trading over the past year, let's close by taking a look at a 52-week chart on the stock (keep in mind this does not include the $14 jump after yesterday's market close):