Apple Reports Blowout Profits Again on iPads, iPhones

Tech giant is selling iPhones and iPads like hotcakes.

April 24, 2012, 4:40 PM

April 24, 2012 — -- Apple announced strong second-quarter earnings Tuesday, beating Wall Street estimates and easing worries that the tech giant may be losing steam.

Apple said that profit nearly doubled to $11.6 billion or $12.30 a share on sales of $39.2 billion compared with a year earlier. That beat analysts' estimates of $10.04 a share on $36.81 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Apple sold 11.8 million iPads last quarter and 35 million iPhones, in line with analyst expectations. In January, Apple announced a record $13.1 billion first quarter profit and sales of 15.4 million iPads and 37 million iPhones.

The majority of Apple's profit comes from iPhone sales, with the three of the four national U.S. wireless carriers —AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon— selling the popular smartphone.

Apple now has a mammoth $110 billion in cash, more than the entire GDP of many small countries combined.

As Apple's CFO Peter Oppenheimer said during the earnings conference call on Tuesday evening, the "new iPad is on fire", and analysts believe that the global market for this and other Apple products is just beginning to grow.

Michael Holt, senior equity analyst with investment firm Morningstar, said Apple's product gross margin was the most impressive figure in the earnings report.

Describing the profit from each device beyond what it costs to manufacture it, the gross margin percentage for the iPhone grew to 47.4 percent from 41.4 percent a year ago.

"The important thing about that is they are not having to compromise on their pricing to have product sold," Holt said. Coupled with "strong" sales of the iPhone, Holt said Apple has been able to sustain their premium pricing and still ship a large number of units.

Tim Cook, the highest paid CEO in the U.S., became CEO in August 2011 before founder Steve Jobs passed away in October 2011.

"We're thrilled with sales of over 35 million iPhones and almost 12 million iPads in the March quarter," said Cook. "The new iPad is off to a great start, and across the year you're going to see a lot more of the kind of innovation that only Apple can deliver."

Shares of Apple stock had slipped in trading on Tuesday after AT&T Inc., the largest seller of iPhones in the U.S., announced a sharp drop in first-quarter iPhone sales. Apple's stock has been on a recent decline from its 52-week high of $644 a share.

ABC News' Zunaira Zaki contributed to this report.

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