Blockbuster iPhone sales helped Apple Inc. blow past Wall Street's expectations with a 90 percent leap in net income for the most recent quarter. Shares skyrocketed to an all-time high in extended trading Tuesday.
Apple said it sold nearly 9 million of its popular iPhone smart phones in the three months that ended March 27, more than double sales from a year ago.
Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's chief financial officer, said in an interview that Apple sold more iPhones than in any previous quarter, with strong sales coming from both existing and new mobile carriers. Although AT&T Inc. remains the exclusive U.S. carrier, Apple has been selling phones through multiple carriers in other countries.
After a brief trading halt, investors sent Apple's stock bounding up $17.31, or 7.1 percent, to $261.90 in after-hours trading Tuesday, surpassing its previous high of $251.14, which had been set Friday. Earlier Tuesday, the stock had shed $2.48 to close at $244.59.
Apple's net income and revenue were its highest ever in a non-holiday quarter, Oppenheimer said. Earnings rose to $3.07 billion, or $3.33 per share, from $1.62 billion, or $1.79 per share in the same period last year.
Revenue rose 49 percent to $13.5 billion from $9.08 billion in the year-ago quarter.
Analysts had expected Apple to earn $2.45 per share on $12.04 billion in revenue, according to a survey from Thomson Reuters.
The company said it sold almost 3 million Macs, a 33 perce nt increase. IPod unit sales edged down 1 percent — but Apple still sold 10 million of the digital players.
Apple didn't start selling the iPad until after the fiscal second quarter ended, but analysts were pressing for details after Apple said it would have to postpone the international launch of its new tablet computer.
Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer, said there are no production problems with the iPad. The international launch has been delayed only because of demand in the U.S., where Apple said it sold more than 500,000 iPads in its first week.
"It has shocked us, the level of demand, at least initially. We'll see what happens from here," Cook said.