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Apple’s quarterly profit nearly doubles

By Patrick May, San Jose Mercury News –

SAN JOSE, Calif. — On the heels of a troubling double-digit slump in its share price, Apple Inc. on Tuesday seemed to suggest investors may have oversold, as the company announced its second quarterly profit had jumped 93 percent from a year earlier, thanks to robust sales of its popular iPhone and iPad.

Handily beating analysts’ estimates, Apple posted quarterly revenue of $39.2 billion and quarterly net profit of $11.6 billion, or $12.30 per diluted share. That’s compared to 24.7 billion in revenue and $6 billion in profit, or $6.40 per diluted share, in the same quarter the year before.

Driving the numbers were the iPhone and iPad. Apple said it sold 35.1 million iPhones in the quarter ended March 31, 88 percent more than the same period last year. Sales of the iPad, meanwhile, jumped 151 percent to 11.8 million.

“We’re thrilled with sales of over 35 million iPhones and almost 12 million iPads in the March quarter,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The new iPad is off to a great start, and across the year you’re going to see a lot more of the kind of innovation that only Apple can deliver.”

“Our record March quarter results drove $14 billion in cash flow from operations,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the third fiscal quarter, we expect revenue of about $34 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $8.68.”

Investors seemed wary before results came out after the market close. Apple shares steadily dropped throughout the trading day before closing at $560.28, down 2 percent, or $11.42, from its previous close. The stock took off in after-hours trading, jumping 6 percent within 5 minutes.

Apple’s numbers once again beat the street’s estimates. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $10.02 a share for sales of $36.7 billion.

Once again, Apple’s most recent fiscal quarter had its share of big news. The third-generation iPad came out in early March and saw blistering sales right out of the gate, selling 3 million within the first four days. And on March 19, Apple announced it would reward shareholders with a quarterly dividend and stock-buyback program, scheduled to start later this year.

But in recent weeks, it was the company’s dipping share price that dominated much of the coverage. After Apple shares steadily increased to its all-time high of $644 reached earlier this month, investors started to turn their backs on the stock, bringing down the price more than 10 percent from its high. Analysts blamed a number of factors, including chip supplier Qualcomm’s warning of production problems and Verizon’s announcement that iPhone activations had weakened in the previous quarter.

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