By JOHN KELL
Apple Inc.'s fiscal second-quarter profit jumped 95% as the company posted record iPhone sales, as well as strong sales of its multimedia iPad device and Macintosh computers.
A main driver of growth for the quarter was the company's iPhone, which sold 18.7 million units, more than double a year ago. Verizon Wireless unveiled its version of the popular smartphone in February, ending AT&T Inc.'s exclusive hold over the device.
The maker of computers and electronics devices, which is notorious for giving conservative guidance, said it expects fiscal third-quarter earnings of about $5.03 a share on revenue of about $23 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected $5.25 a share on $23.83 billion in revenue.
For the quarter ended March 26, Apple posted a profit of $6 billion, or $6.40 a share, up from $3.07 billion, or $3.33 a share, a year earlier. Revenue surged 83% to $24.67 billion, with 41% of the top line coming from the U.S.
In January, the company projected earnings of about $4.90 on revenue of about $22 billion. Wall Street's latest expectations were $5.37 and $23.38 billion, respectively.
Gross margin fell to 41.4% from 41.7%, the fourth straight quarter that metric dropped on year. Analysts have said the iPad isn't as profitable as other products.
While the second quarter tends to be slow, Apple's results benefited from the launch of a new MacBook Pro in February and the debut of its iPad 2 tablet in early March. The iPad, a multimedia, Internet-enabled slate computer, sold 4.7 million units in the latest quarter.
The company sold 3.8 million Macintosh computers, up 28% from a year earlier. It also sold nine million iPod media players, falling 17%. Sales have slowed for the iPod, although the unit has likely benefited from higher average selling prices, as more consumers gravitate toward the iPod touch.
There were some concerns that the Japanese earthquake could hurt results due to the destruction of many factories, including those believed to supply Apple or its suppliers with components. Wedbush Equity Research said Apple was better positioned to face the supply chain disruption, although the firm warned it expected the woes in Japan to start impacting the semiconductor region this summer.
Shares rose 2.8% to $351.80 in after-hours trading.
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