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Apple kills it again in Q2, exceeds earnings expectations

Apple reported its second quarter earnings late Monday and the news was better than expected. The Cupertino-based company, which is currently the highest valued company in the world, posted per-share earnings of $2.33, beating out the market estimate of $2.18. Shares of the company are already up 20 percent in 2015, up 62 percent over the last 12 months, and have jumped another 1 percent since the closing bell at the NYSE.

As for sales of its flagship product, Apple reports that it shipped 61.17 million iPhones in Q2, beating estimates that placed sales at 56 million units. It’s also a noteworthy increase over the 43.7 million iPhones sold in Q2 2014. The numbers themselves look attractive, but the dollar signs are looking pretty as well. Apple has upped their quarterly dividend by 11 percent after the board approved a raise from $90 billion to $140 billion of share buyback purchasing power.

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“We believe Apple has a bright future ahead, and the unprecedented size of our capital return program reflects that strong confidence,” said CEO Tim Cook. “While most of our program will focus on buying back shares, we know that the dividend is very important to many of our investors, so we’re raising it for the third time in less than three years.”

Total earnings for the quarter reached $13.6 billion, bolstered by steady sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, blowing away concerns over slowing sales of previous iPhone models. Positivity is teeming back into the consciousness of Apple shareholders as the company continues the launch of its first new product since 2010. The only negative number to come out of the earnings report was a drop in iPad sales, which slumped a bit lower than anticipated. Apple moved 12.6 million units of the tablet in Q2 — about 2.4 million below what it expected to sell.

Much of the increased profits are attributed to clever workings with China and India to grow Apple’s reach and sell units in markets where Apple previously held little weight. For example, sales in China grew 71 percent year over year.