Apple Inc, despite its often conservative and sand-bagged guidance, is expected to report impressive fourth quarter results on Monday afternoon, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters Financial expect Apple to report earnings of $1.42 per share, a 13% year-on-year increase which is well above Apple's own projection of $1.18 to $1.23, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

Apple saw its fourth quarter profit rise 26% to $1.14 billion, or $1.126 per diluted share a year ago.

Apple is set to give the fourth quarter report today at 2 p.m. pacific, 5 p.m. eastern.

Apple has been hitting 52-week highs and estimates are $9.2 billion in revenues. 

Based on margins and explosive growth, the real driver of Apple stock is believed to be the iPhone.

Broadpoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall said  the company would have sold seven million or more handsets  during the September quarter, while Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster believes it will have sold 7.5 million units.

Munster expects Apple's stock price to go well above $200 in the next 12 months.

However, some analyst are very cautious about the result despite generally optimistic prediction.

Apple' upcoming quarterly report could be slightly disappointing in revenue s, Yair Reiner, analyst at Oppenheimer said in a note to investors last week, raising the company's iPhone supply issue as main factor.

Meanwhile, Reiner saw December as a catch-up quarter  for Apple to sell more than eight million iPhones as  the demand is apparently outstripping supply.

Analysts expect December earnings of $1.91 per share, according to Thomson Reuters.