Apple Inc’s results blew past Wall Street expectations on the back of record iPhone sales, and the company gave a strong revenue forecast, sending its shares up more than 5 percent to an all-time high.
Apple, which typically offers conservative forecasts, projected revenue of US$13 billion to US$13.4 billion in the June quarter. Wall Street had forecast revenue of US$12.97 billion.
The company sold 8.75 million iPhones in the March quarter — more than double the figure of a year ago and way above estimates — driven by strong, broad-based, international demand for the smartphone, some of it due to the addition of new carriers in key overseas markets.
Apple’s stock has climbed about 15 percent this year and struck a record high on Friday. In after-hours trade on Tuesday, it surged more than 5 percent to US$257.30 from a regular-session close of US$244.59.
Apple is betting big on the iPad tablet as the company’s next big breakout product. The device went on sale earlier this month and sold half a million units in the first week.
IPad sales have exceeded Apple’s expectations, chief operating officer Tim Cook said on a conference call with analysts.
“We think the market size for the iPad is very large, and we want to capitalize on our first mover advantage,” Cook said.
Apple forecast gross margins for the current quarter to fall to 36 percent, down from a better-than-expected 41.7 percent in the March period and below analysts’ target of 40 percent. That is partly because of the iPad. The company declined to say what the iPad’s margins are.
The company on Tuesday reported net income of US$3.07 billion, or US$3.33 a share, in the fiscal second quarter ended March 27, up from US$1.62 billion, or US$1.79 a share, in the year-ago period.
Analysts on average were expecting a profit of US$2.45 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose nearly 50 percent to US$13.5 billion, well above Wall Street’s estimate of US$12.04 billion.
Apple’s strength lay in international markets, which accounted for 58 percent of its sales in the quarter.
Revenue in Europe surged 63 percent, rose 51 percent in Japan, and nearly tripled in Asia-Pacific.
“All the upside was driven by iPhones,” said Broadpoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall. “The international carrier partner program really ramped up this last quarter.”
On Monday, technology blog Gizmodo published details about what appears to be a new iPhone model. Apple claimed the device belonged to the company but did not say whether it was an actual prototype.
Gizmodo had paid an unknown person US$5,000 for the phone, which was found in a bar in the Silicon Valley. Apple has asked for the phone to be returned, and Gizmodo said on Tuesday it would do so.