BUSINESS

Apple 3Q Profit Up 15 Percent On iPhone Sales

08/21/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

SEATTLE (AP) -- Apple Inc., the closest thing the tech industry has to a luxury brand, said Tuesday its profit jumped 15 percent in the most recent quarter despite the recession. Sales of Mac computers grew while the rest of the personal-computer industry shrank.

The company, which recently welcomed CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs back from a six-month medical leave, said earnings in the quarter that ended June 27 rose to $1.23 billion, or $1.35 per share. Apple's profit was $1.07 billion, or $1.19 per share, in the same period last year. Sales increased 12 percent to $8.34 billion from $7.46 billion in the year-ago quarter, which is the third in Apple's fiscal calendar.

Apple beat Wall Street's forecast on both counts. Analysts were expecting Apple to earn $1.17 per share on $8.20 billion in revenue, according to a Thomson Reuters survey.

"In a better economy I think we would have sold even more," Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said in an interview.

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Apple said it sold more than 5.2 million iPhones in the quarter, more than seven times what it sold in the 2008 quarter, thanks to a newly released version of the device.

Apple's Mac computers also bolstered results. Apple sold 4 percent more Mac computers than a year ago. Meanwhile, researchers recently reported a 3 percent to 5 percent decline for the overall worldwide PC market in the same period.

The only weak spot was Apple's iPod line. Unit sales fell 7 percent. Oppenheimer told analysts on a conference call that such declines are to be expected as Apple "cannibalizes" iPod sales by offering similar features on the iPhone -- the cheapest of which is now $99, plus a monthly service contract.

Apple's revenue increased in every region, including the U.S. and Europe. Worldwide retail store revenue increased 4 percent from a year ago.

Shares of Cupertino, California-based Apple jumped $3.45, or 2.3 percent, to $154.96 in after-hours trading, after slipping 91 cents to close at $151.51.

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