Apple crushes profit forecast

City A.M. Reporter
APPLE’S quarterly revenue again crushed Wall Street expectations yesterday, driven by blockbuster sales of its hot iPhones and iPads.

Its flagship products all exceeded forecasts. It sold 20.34m iPhones during the quarter along with 9.25m iPads and 3.95m Mac computers. Gross margin for the quarter came to 41.7 per cent.

The Cupertino, California company said its fiscal third-quarter revenue rose to $28.57bn (£17.7bn), trouncing the average analyst estimate of $24.99bn.

Shares of the world’s most valuable technology company leapt 6.1 per cent to about $400 after a brief halt after-hours.

The stellar results came as concern over iPad 2 supply constraints eased. The company is entering the second half of 2011 on a roll. In coming months, Apple is expected to launch a new model of the iPhone, which is likely to give the tech giant another revenue boost.

The health of chief executive Steve Jobs (pictured) again came to the forefront after reports that several Apple board members had discussed a successor to the Silicon Valley icon, and talked it over with at least one head of a high-profile tech company.

Succession planning at the world’s most valuable technology company has been a hot topic since Jobs announced he was taking medical leave for unknown reasons, with many not expecting him to return to lead the company he founded in 1976.