Apple sales surge, but stocks slump as iPad figures disappoint

Apple announced huge earnings for its fourth fiscal quarter, posting a record-setting revenue of $20.34 billion with a net profit topping $4.3 billion. Compare that to a net profit of $2.5 billion over last year’s fourth quarter. The earnings defied Wall Street’s forecasts about the company’s earnings potential. Apple’s strong performance rested primarily on strong sales of its iPhone, which accounted for more than 14 million units sold. It was the first earnings period to include sales of the iPhone 4. The company also sold 3.89 million Macs -– a new record for the company.

That was the good news for Apple. The bad news is that despite all the record sales, some seem to remain unimpressed with the performance. Apple stock actually ended down over 6 percent on Monday following after-hours trading. The reason for Wall Street’s chilly reaction seems to lie in news of iPad sales which fell below expectations: Apple managed to sell 4.2 million iPads for the quarter, analysts were predicting 4.8 million units sold. Not even Apple can please everyone all the time.

In a rare earnings call, CEO Steve Jobs himself wasted no time in reassuring the public that the company remains committed to the iPad’s success. He declared, “we’re out to win this thing,” referring to the emerging tablet computer market. He also went on to provoke some smartphone competitors in the process, but that’s another story.

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