SILICON VALLEY (CBS / AP) — After uncharacteristically tepid sales in the July-to-September quarter, Apple came back with a vengeance in last three months of 2011, vastly exceeding analyst estimates and setting new records.
Apple on Tuesday said it sold 37 million iPhones in the quarter, double the figure of the previous quarter and more than twice as many as it sold in last year’s holiday quarter.
The result may make Apple the world’s largest maker of smartphones. Samsung Electronics, which held that position for most of last year, has said it expects to report shipping about 35 million smartphones in the October to December quarter.
October saw the launch of the iPhone 4S, and the addition of Sprint as an iPhone carrier in the U.S.
Apple said net income in the fiscal first quarter was $13.06 billion, or $13.87 per share. That was up 118% from $6 billion, or $6.43 per share, a year ago.
Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting earnings of $10.04 per share for the latest quarter, Apple’s fiscal first.
Revenue was $46.33 billion, up 73% from a year ago. Analysts were expecting $38.9 billion.
The Cupertino company shipped 15.4 million iPads in the quarter, again more than doubling sales over the same quarter last year.
Apple shares rose $33.03, or 7.9%, to $453.53 in extended trading, after the release of the results.
Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said the company expects earnings of $8.50 per share in the current quarter, and sales of $32.5 billion. Both figures are above the average estimate of analysts polled by FactSet, even though Apple usually low-balls its estimates.
Apple ended the quarter with a cash balance of a staggering $97.6 billion. For years, investors have been frustrated with Apple’s unwillingness to put the cash to use. Complaints have been muted as Apple continues to generate record-breaking results and as the stock price keeps rising. Apple executives have said the cash hoard gives the company flexibility to make acquisitions and long-term supply deals.
If the stock rally in extended trading survives into regular trading Wednesday, Apple will retake the position of most valuable company in the world from Exxon Mobil. Apple first unseated Exxon last summer, and the two have been trading places since then.
Yahoo delivers listless performance
Elsewhere in Silicon Valley, Yahoo’s latest financial results show the Internet company is still losing ground in the battle for online advertising.
The fourth-quarter breakdown announced Tuesday is the latest in a succession of ho-hum performances.
Yahoo Inc. recently hired former PayPal executive Scott Thompson as CEO in its latest attempt at a turnaround.
The Sunnyvale-based company earned $296 million, or 24 cents per share, in the October-to-December period. That is down 5% from $312 million, or 24 cents per share, a year earlier.
The earnings matched analysts’ estimates.
Fourth-quarter revenue dropped 13 percent from the previous year to $1.32 billion.
After subtracting commissions, Yahoo’s revenue totaled $1.17 billion. That was $20 million below analyst projections.
It’s the 13th straight quarter that Yahoo’s net revenue has declined from the prior year.
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