Apple Inc reported better-than-expected revenue, fueled by blockbuster holiday sales of the iPhone and iPad that may help ease investor concern about Chief Executive Steve Jobs' decision to take medical leave.

Apple reported earnings for the fiscal first quarter ended December 25 of $6 billion, or 6.43 cents a share, up 78 percent from a year-ago net profit of $3.4 billion, or $3.67 a share.

Revenue rose 71 percent to $26.7 billion, much better than Wall Street's forecast for revenue of $24.4 billion.

Apple, which is known for its conservative forecasts, issued an outlook that was above analysts' targets. It expects earnings for the March quarter of $4.90 a share on revenue of $22 billion.

Apple shares closed down 2.3 percent at $340.65 on the Nasdaq and were halted in extended trading.

(Reporting by Gabriel Madway; Editing by Richard Chang)