Apple trumps earnings expectations

9:07 PM, Apr 24, 2012   |    comments
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Apple reported earnings results Tuesday that extended its mobile dominance despite the best efforts of Samsung, Microsoft and Google to match its playbook.

Apple reported a second-quarter profit of $11.6 billion, or $12.30 per share, up 94% from a year ago. Revenue surged 59% to $39.2 billion.

Stellar Apple results came despite a wave of rival mobile devices flowing from Samsung's Galaxy lineup running on Google's new Android 4.0 to new Nokia phones packing Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system.

That could continue: Analysts are expecting Apple to launch a new iPhone this fall to follow up the fast-selling iPhone 4S. The next-generation iPhone could sport 4G service.

Wall Street expected Apple to report profit of $9.5 billion, or $10.02 per share, on revenue of $36.8 billion, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson Reuters.

Powering Apple sales was strong international growth, especially in Asia. "It was an incredible quarter in China," CEO Tim Cook said on a conference call. "Part of this was the pent-up demand for iPhone 4S." International sales accounted for 64% of Apple's revenue in the quarter.

Shares of Apple, which had recently fallen 13% from their 52-week high, jumped nearly 6% to $593 in after-hours trading on the earnings news, announced after th market close.

Apple iPhone sales surged to 35.1 million in the quarter, up 88% from a year ago. Apple sold 11.8 million iPads in the quarter, up 151%.

"The new iPad is on fire," Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said on the call.

The closely watched gross margin, a measure of how much profit Apple squeezes out, climbed to 47.4% from 41.4% a year ago.

Apple's iPad is dominating the tablet market. It is expected that 119 million tablets will be sold worldwide in 2012, a 98% jump from the 60 million sold in 2011, according to research firm Gartner. Apple's popular tablet is forecast to snare 61% of the tablet market this year, Gartner says.

Meanwhile, tablets based on Google's Android operating system are expected to take 32% of the market, occupying second place. And those based on Microsoft's Windows are expected to take the No. 3 position, with 4% of the market.

Apple sold 4 million Macs in the quarter, up 7% from a year ago. The company sold 7.7 million iPods, a 15% decline from a year ago.

By Scott Martin, USA TODAY

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