The Cupertino, Calif., electronics company reported net income matched the year-ago figure of $13.1 billion but fell 6 cents a share to $13.81 from $13.87 a year ago, still way ahead of the $13.43 a share estimate of 57 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
Revenue jumped nearly 18 percent to a record $54.5 billion from $46.3 billion a year earlier. The most recent quarter was 13 weeks, whereas the year-earlier quarter was 14 weeks, which indicates Apple was more profitable.
Indeed, the company said it sold $4.2 billion worth of products each week compared with only $3.3 billion a year earlier.
“We’re thrilled with record revenue,” said CEO Timothy Cook. “We’re very confident in our product pipeline as we continue to focus on innovation.”
Apple said it sold 47.8 million iPhones, slightly below estimates, along with 22.09 million iPads, also at the low range of estimates. The company sold 4.1 million Macbooks, also below estimates of around 5 million.
The report continued the current trend of technology leaders such as International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), the No. 2 computer company, and Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), the No. 1 search engine, reporting better-than-expected results for an otherwise difficult fourth quarter of 2012.
Still, the company issued a prediction for current quarter performance that indicates growth will ease more than expected. Revenue will dip to between $41 billion and $43 billion, with slightly lower gross margins, an indicator that earnings may ease.
Apple also reported its cash and investments reached $137.1 billion, up from $121.3 billion last quarter.
Shares of Apple closed at $514.17, up $9.40, but down about 27 percent from their record high of $705.07, set on Sept. 21.
In after-hours trading, the shares fell about 5 percent to $489.20