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Apple posts bigger than expected Q4 profits

Apple trumps analyst predictions to rack up US$37.5 billion in sales, with the iPhone leading the charge.

Defying both the predictions of Wall Street and a commentariat that claimed reduced demand and poor sales, Apple has posted a Q4 profit that's ahead of expectations.

(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Overnight, the company reported fourth-quarter earnings of US$8.26 per share on sales of US$37.5 billion. This is up from the average analyst estimate, which forecast earnings of US$7.92 per share on sales of US$36.8 billion.

In this particular quarter, iPhone was king — hardly surprising given the launch of both the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s, the first time Apple has had two new iPhones on the market at once.

Apple said it sold 33.8 million iPhones, 14.1 million iPads, 4.6 million Macs and 3.5 million iPods during Q4.

For its run into the next quarter, Apple will have two new iPads as well as the new Mac Pro and a refreshed line of MacBooks on shelves.

"We're excited to go into the holidays with our new iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, iOS 7, the new iPad mini with Retina display and the incredibly thin and light iPad Air, new MacBook Pros, the radical new Mac Pro, OS X Mavericks and the next-generation iWork and iLife apps for OS X and iOS," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.

On the back of the report, Apple will be paying shareholders a dividend of US$3.05 per share.