Apple’s Runaway Train: 9.25 Million iPads, 20 Million iPhones Sold In Q3

Apple (AAPL)

One of these days Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) may see a slowdown in its business, but it most emphatically did not happen over the last three months. Apple reported revenue and earnings per share for its third fiscal quarter that shattered analyst estimates on the back of huge increases in both iPhone and iPad sales.

Apple recorded $28.57 billion in revenue during the quarter, a 82 increase over quarterly revenue of $15.7 billion in the year-ago quarter and way beyond consensus analyst estimates of $24.92 billion in revenue for the quarter. Net profit was $7.31 billion, up 124 percent from $3.25 billion in profits last year and which translates into earnings per share of $7.79. Analysts were expecting earnings per share of $5.80, as tallied by *Yahoo* Finance.

In the first full quarter that the iPad 2 was on sale, Apple doubled its iPad shipments compared to the previous quarter, when it sold 4.6 million iPads. iPhone sales of 20.34 million units were also up sharply compared to both the previous quarter and the period a year ago. Apple posted steady increases in Mac sales during the quarter but iPod sales fell, suggesting that the long-anticipated canibalization of the iPod by the iPhone and iPod Touch is starting to take hold.’

Apple promised its usual conservative outlook for the upcoming quarter, part of the underpromise/overdeliver earnings strategy that has worked so well for the company over the past 4 years. Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said that the company expects to record revenue of $25 billion and earnings per share of $5.50, but those numbers are nonsensical: Were Apple to record a quarter-over-quarter decrease in both revenue and earnings per share during a quarter in which it is expected to launch a new iPhone and possibly a new iPad in the middle of the back-to-school shopping season, it would be a stunning turn of events.

Trading in Apple’s stock was halted briefly before the earnings report was released, but no surprises other than the numbers themselves emerged in the early minutes after trading was halted. Trading was scheduled to resume at 1:50 p.m. PT but had not yet started anew as of 2:00 p.m. UPDATED: Once trading resumed Apple’s stock rose 6 percent to just over $400 per share.

A conference call with financial analysts and Apple executives is expected to begin at 2 p.m., and we’ll have more to say later today about Apple’s quarter.

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