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Apple shares soar after strong earnings, stock-split news

The company's shares are up about 8 percent in early trading on Thursday, hitting an intraday high of nearly $569.

James Martin/CNET

Apple's shares are on the rise Thursday, following a strong earnings report and the announcement of a 7-to-1 stock split.

Apple shares are up nearly 8 percent, or $41.70, to $566.45. That's down slightly from the intraday high of $568.84, but nearing the stock's 52-week high of $575.14.

The iPhone maker made investors quite happy on Wednesday after announcing its fiscal second-quarter earnings for the period that ended in March. The company beat Wall Street's earnings forecasts, posting revenue of $45.6 billion and a profit of $10.2 billion. Both were up slightly compared to the same period in 2013.

Apple's success during the first quarter of the year was due in large part to the 43.7 million iPhones it sold, topping the expected 38 million units sold.

Investors were perhaps most pleased with Apple's announcement that it's giving back to shareholders far more cash than originally anticipated. Apple will issue a total of $130 billion to shareholders and its 7-to-1 stock split is designed to make its shares more accessible to investors.

Although the initial reaction to Apple's financial performance and cash giveback has been positive, questions remain over what the company has planned for the future. Apple CEO Tim Cook provided no insight into what his company might announce in the coming months, though rumors suggest the company will show off new Macs and iPads, and two new iPhones this year. There's also talk of Apple announcing a smartband. As expected, Apple has remained tight-lipped on all plans.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment on its rising shares. We will update this story when we have more information.