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Apple Announces Another Succesful Fiscal Quarter, Beats Market Expectations

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CUPERTINO, USA – Riding high on the initial success of iPad launch, Apple announced another successful financial quarter with quarterly profits crossing the US$3 billion mark for the fiscal quarter concluding March 27, 2010.

In the first fiscal quarter of 2010, the company posted a revenue of US$13.5 billion and net quarterly profit of US$3.07 billion, compared to US$9.08 billion and net quarterly profit of US$1.62 billion, from the year-ago quarter.  For the latest quarter, Apple recorded a gross margin of 41.7 percent, up from 39.9 percent in the year-ago quarter.

In the just concluded quarter, Apple sold 2.94 million Macintosh computers, representing a 33 percent  increase over the year-ago quarter. Continuing the upward trend, the company sold 8.75 million iPhones in the quarter, representing a 131 percent growth over the year-ago quarter.

Coming to Apple’s iconic portable music player iPod, the manufacturer  sold 10.89 million iPods in the quarter, representing a one percent decline from the year-ago quarter, making iPods the only segment to post a negative growth in this quarter. However, the company was buoyed by a more than impressive performance by other segments as echoed by Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs who remarked, “We’re thrilled to report our best non-holiday quarter ever, with revenues up 49 percent and profits up 90 percent… We’ve launched our revolutionary new iPad and users are loving it, and we have several more extraordinary products in the pipeline for this year”. Commenting on the financial results, Apple’s CFO Peter Oppenheimer said, “Looking ahead to the third fiscal quarter of 2010, we expect revenue in the range of about $13.0 billion to $13.4 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share in the range of about $2.28 to $2.39”, which wraps up the company’s expectations for the next quarter.

As expected, the encouraging fiscal results have boosted Apple’s stock value with the company’s shares recording a 20% growth over the last year. With Apple’s market capitalization standing at roughly US$234 billion, the manufacturer stands second only to Microsoft’s US$275 billion among U.S. technology companies.

The skyrocketing stock prices of Apple are here-to-stay as per the survey carried out by Thomson Reuters Starmine. The survey considered responses from 43 analysts, out of which 37 rated Apple either a “buy” or a “strong buy”, while four analysts rated the stock as “hold”, and the remainder two rated it either “sell” or “strong sell”.

As it can be seen the phenomenal success of iPhones has catapulted Apple into a dominating position in the electronics industry with Apple now sharing the same headspace as the once enviable Microsoft, considering the market capitalization values of these two giants. With the initial success of iPad and the fourth-generation iPhone due in summer, Apple looks to be well set for another successful quarter, while its competitors continue to bleed.

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By , Chief International Correspondent on Apr 22nd, 2010 GMT +2

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