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Apple Beats Its Sales and Earnings Records Again

Apple outdid itself, blowing the doors off itself in terms of both revenues and earnings when it reported its third fiscal quarter financial results on Tuesday.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) posted record quarterly sales of $28.57 billion and record profits of $7.31 billion, with diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $7.79. That compared with the same quarter last year when the company brought in $15.7 billion in revenues, net profit of $3.25 billion, and diluted EPS of $3.51.

That's a healthy follow on from fiscal 2011's second quarter, when Apple also broke both sales and earnings records, almost doubling both over the same period last fiscal year, with revenues of 24.67 billion, up from $13.5 billion for the same quarter last year. Also in the second quarter of 2011, Apple turned in $5.99 billion in profit as opposed to $3.07 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2010.

Although CEO Steve Jobs was not present for the company's briefing call with financial analysts following Apple's earnings announcement, he released a statement applauding the company's performance.

"We’re thrilled to deliver our best quarter ever, with revenue up 82 percent and profits up 125 percent," Jobs' statement said.

The latest numbers are a far cry from Apple's previous guidance for the third quarter.

In April, Apple's CFO Peter Oppenheimer told financial analysts he expected revenues for the third quarter to be in the neighborhood of $23 billion with diluted EPS of $5.03.

Apple said it sold some 20.34 million iPhones during the third quarter, a 142 percent unit growth from 2010's comparable quarter, as well as 9.25 million iPads, a unit growth of 183 percent over last year. Sales of Macs were also up, with 3.95 million sold -- a growth of 14 percent.

By contrast, in the second quarter of 2011, Apple sold 18.65 million iPhones, a 113 percent unit growth from the same quarter last year, as well as some 4.69 million iPads.

In the second quarter, Apple also sold 3.76 million Macs, a 28 percent gain from last year's second quarter.

Sales of iPods continued to shrink, however, and the company sold a mere 7.54 million iPods in the quarter. That follows the slide from the previous quarter, during which the company sold only 9.02 million iPod music players during the second quarter, a 17 percent decline from the same period in 2010.

COO and acting CEO Tim Cook did acknowledge that brisk demand for iPads had cannibalized some sales of Macs, but asserted that IPad cannibalized many more sales of Windows PCs.

Investors reacted enthusiastically to the news, driving the stock up more than 20 points in afterhours trading to $397.08.

 

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.