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Apple earnings top forecast but revenue falls short

Apple reported earnings that edged past Wall Street's estimates on Wednesday but its revenue fell slightly short of forecasts during the crucial holiday quarter.

After the earnings announcement, the company's shares fell in extended-hours trading. (Get the latest quotes for Apple after the closing bell.)

The company posted fiscal first-quarter earnings excluding items of $13.81 per share, down from $13.87 a share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue increased 18 percent to $54.51 billion from $46.33 billion a year ago.

Analysts had expected the company to report earnings excluding items of $13.47 a share on $54.73 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Apple sold 47.8 million iPhones during the period, up from 37 million a year ago; 22.9 million iPads, up from 15.4 million a year ago; 4.1 million Macs, down from 5.2 million a year ago; 12.7 million iPods, down from 15.4 million a year ago. The company said its gross margins were 38.6 percent.

Following earnings beats from both Google and IBM on Tuesday, investors are looking to Apple's quarterly report to gauge how the company's market share fared during the crucial holiday season. Apple stock has fallen by more than a fourth since the company's iPhone 5, the latest iteration of its popular smartphone, debuted.