Apple profits soar beyond expectations

Apple's profits far exceeded anyone's expectations, as the company reported huge profits and iPhone sales of 270,000 units.

Apple seems to be doing pretty well these days.

For its fiscal third quarter, the company reported profits of 92 cents a share after the close of the stock market Wednesday, 9 cents higher than Wall Street was expecting and 26 cents better than the company's own projections. And the magic number? Apple reported selling what appears to be 270,000 iPhones during the two days before the quarter ended on June 30.

UPDATE 2:14 P.M. PDT: Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer has confirmed 270,000 iPhones were sold in those two days.

Revenue for the quarter was $5.4 billion, as compared with Wall Street's expectations of $5.2 billion and Apple's own projections of $5.1 billion. Mac shipments grew 33 percent compared with last year, while iPod shipments were up 21 percent.

The iPhone category includes "iPhones and Apple-branded and third-party iPhone accessories," so it was not immediately clear from the press release whether the 270,000 units refers to iPhones alone or iPhones plus cases, headsets, etc. The iPhone numbers will be closely scrutinized coming off of Tuesday's news that AT&T only activated 146,000 iPhones.

The company will hold a conference call at 2 p.m. PDT to discuss its results, and hopefully we'll get more clarity on the iPhone shipments then.

UPDATE 2:08 P.M. PDT: Apple's overall profit for the quarter was $818 million, that's a 73 percent jump compared with last year, when third-quarter profit was $472 million. Revenue was up 24 percent compared with the same period last year when it was $4.37 billion.

Notebook sales led the charge for the Mac division. Apple shipped 1,130,000 MacBooks and MacBook Pros during the quarter, up 79 percent compared with last year. Desktop shipments were also up, 634,000 units this year compared with 529,000 units last year.

Apple doesn't break out its iPod results by category, but it was interesting to note that while shipments increased to 9.8 million compared with 8.1 million units during the same period a year ago, revenue increased by a smaller amount. Apple's iPod revenue was $1.57 billion during the quarter, compared with $1.5 billion the same time last year.

I contacted an Apple spokesman about the iPhone numbers, to verify whether 270,000 units means 270,000 iPhones or 270,000 iPhones plus accessories. I hadn't heard back as the conference call was about to start, with soothing classical guitar in the background.

About the author

    Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.

     

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