Apple shares continued to trade higher Tuesday morning after the company reported a 47 percent jump in quarterly profits, driven by better-than-expected sales of iPhones, Mac computers and iPods.
Shares in the company spiked more than $12, or more than six percent, to $202 in early trading, generating positive feedback from analysts.
Apple's financial report, released after the markets closed Monday, reinforces my view that Apple is hands down the best technology company on the planet, said Broadpoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall.
We are very impressed by Apple’s ability to post a record profit quarter during difficult macro spending conditions, Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek said in a note to clients this morning. A host of new product introductions and continued traction with the iPhone give us confidence in the sustainability of Apple’s operating model.
Apple weathered the economic meltdown better than other computer companies, giving it a running start when PC sales grew in the quarter. Apple had also updated its Mac operating system and refreshed its MacBook Pro line. The company boasted a 19 percent rise in Mac sales, with 3.1 million units sold. Analysts had been expecting Mac sales of 2.8 million.
iPhone sales in the quarter had been expected to astound. Yet unit sales rose 7 percent to 7.4 million, just shy of Wall Street expectations of 7.5 million units.
Credit Suisse analyst Bill Shope raised his 12-month price target to $250, saying Apple remains our top consumer-centric pick.
Meanwhile, UBS analyst Maynard Um raised his 12-month target price for Apple's stock to $280 from $265 on strong fourth quarter earnings and future growth potential. UBS is maintaining a Buy rating on Apple.
The Cupertino, California-based company said it earned $1.7 billion, or $1.82 per share, in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Sept. 26. Revenue was up 25 percent to $9.9 billion.
For all of fiscal 2009, Apple said its profit rose 18 per cent to $5.7 billion, or $5.36 per share. Revenue climbed 13 per cent to $36.5 billion.
For the current quarter, Apple said it expects to earn $1.70 to $1.78 per share, well below the $1.91 that analysts were expecting, though the company traditionally gives extremely conservative guidance.
Apple predicted revenue of $11.3 billion to $11.6 billion, while analysts are looking for $11.4 billion, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.