When it comes to financials, it's generally been good to be Apple and Tuesday was no exception as the company blew by expectations with record-breaking fiscal third-quarter net earnings of $7.31 billion, or $7.79 per diluted share. That's more than double last year's earnings for the same quarter, when profits came in at $3.25 billion, or $3.51 per diluted share.
Shares of Apple were up more than 5 percent to just under $400 in after-hours trading.
Total quarterly revenue was $28.57 billion, up from $15.70 billion in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 41.7 percent compared to 39.1 percent in the year-ago quarter, with international sales accounting for 62 percent of total revenue in the second quarter.
The company sold 20.34 million iPhones, representing 142 percent unit growth over 8.2 million in the year-ago quarter. Even as Apple struggled to meet demand for its popular iPad tablet, the company managed to sell 9.25 million of the devices, amounting to a 183 percent increase over the same quarter in 2010.
Apple's iOS devices are gaining traction in the coveted enterprise space. In an earnings call on Tuesday, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said that 86 percent of Fortune 500 companies are now testing or deploying iPads, and 91 percent of those companies are currently testing or deploying iPhones.
The company forecast stronger than usual third-quarter revenue of $25 billion, an increase over the previous year-ago quarter. Cook said he expects an increase in nearly all the company's product segments, with a "product transition" coming this fall, which he said the company would not talk about at present.
When asked about Apple's recent patent disputes, Tim Cook, the company's COO, said it's simple. "We love competition… but we want people to invent their own stuff and we're going to make sure we defend our portfolio."
Cook said he's not worried about Android activation numbers, saying it's a number that the company finds it "hard to get its hands around," citing a lack of transparency compared to Apple's single quarterly numbers.
Apple expects the iPhone to continue its astronomical growth trajectory. Cook said he thinks it will remain the go-to device for those moving to a higher-end phone. "There is no better device than the iPhone for someone to move to from another device up to a smartphone," Cook said. He also noted that the key driver in sequential units sold would continue to be emerging markets, where the iPhone is enjoying increasing popularity.
In the call, Apple also noted that it will be launching the latest version of its Mac OS (Lion 10.7) tomorrow.