Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Apple sales and profits top analysts’ estimates

SAN FRANCISCO - Apple Inc. reported 3rd-quarter sales and profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates after wooing customers with a faster iPhone and less-expensive Macintosh notebook computers.
Profit rose to $1.23 billion, or $1.35 a share, from $1.07 billion, or $1.19, a year ago, Apple said yesterday. Sales gained 12% to $8.34 billion in the quarter ended June 27. Analysts on average predicted profit of $1.17 and sales of $8.21 billion, according to a Bloomberg survey.

Apple added the faster iPhone 3GS, cut the price of its older iPhone 3G to $99, and updated its MacBook notebooks to entice shoppers. The Mac and iPhone account for more than half of Apple’s sales. Chief executive Steve Jobs returned from medical leave last month and is trying to spur sales growth.

“Their business continues to hold up really well in this tough economy,’’ said Shaw Wu, an analyst at Kaufman Bros. in San Francisco.

Apple, which usually gives forecasts that miss analysts’ estimates, said sales in the back-to-school quarter will be $8.7 billion to $8.9 billion. Profit will be $1.18 to $1.23 a share. Analysts predict sales in the 4th quarter, which ends in September, of $9.03 billion and profit of $1.29 a share.

Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., advanced $4.96 to $156.47 in extended trading after closing at $151.51.


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