Apple profits soar in the second quarter

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The news just keeps getting better and better for Apple investors. On Wednesday, the Cupertino company announced its financial results for its fiscal 2011 second quarter ending March 26, 2011.

The statistics are impressive and should put a smile the length of an iPad 2 on anyone with shares in the electronics giant. It posted record second quarter revenue of $24.67 billion (compared to $13.5 billion a year earlier), and a record second quarter net profit of $5.99 billion ($3.07 billion a year earlier), or $6.40 ($3.33 a year earlier) per diluted share. Apple shares climbed 4 percent to $355.79 off the back of the news.

In a statement released by the company on Wednesday, the company’s CEO Steve Jobs, who is currently on medical leave, said, “With quarterly revenue growth of 83 percent and profit growth of 95 percent, we’re firing on all cylinders. We will continue to innovate on all fronts throughout the remainder of the year.”

Sales figures for the quarter showed that 3.76 million Macs were sold (28 percent up on the same period last year), together with a staggering 18.65 million iPhones (113 percent up), 9.02 million iPods (here showing a 17 percent decline), and 4.69 million iPads.

Only iPad sales failed to meet expectations, falling some 1.4 million short of predictions. We assume that the figure would be much higher, but Apple has struggled to meet demand for the product. It’s also possible that there was a lull in sales in early March as people waited for the introduction of the iPad 2. Apple only includes revenue in its statistics once a customer receives the product, so all the revenue from those who have ordered an iPad 2 but are still waiting did not appear on the earnings report.

Sales of the iPhone undoubtedly received a boost after Verizon took up the device in February.

Looking ahead to the third fiscal quarter, Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO, said, “We expect revenue of about $23 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share of about $5.03.” One wonders if this estimate takes into account the possible squeeze on parts and components as a result of the disaster in Japan, not forgetting the influx of new tablets and Android phones, which could also affect the sales of Apple products. Whatever the future, today’s news that profits rose by 95% means that Apple execs and shareholders will be sleeping comfortably in their beds tonight (once the party’s over).

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