Apple stock soars after stellar sales

SHARES in Apple jumped seven per cent in after-hours trading last night after it posted a fresh set of forecast-smashing sales figures.

America’s largest public company said its fiscal second-quarter revenue rose 59 per cent to $39.2bn (£24.28bn), better than the analysts’ estimates of $36.8bn.

Strong demand for iPhones, particularly in China, helped drive a 94 per cent year-on-year rise in net income to $11.6bn.

Apple sold 35.1m iPhones in the quarter and 11.8m iPads, the latest version of which went on sale in mid-March.

“The new iPad is off to a great start, and across the year you’re going to see a lot more of the kind of innovation that only Apple can deliver,” said chief executive Tim Cook, in spite of iPad sales falling short of some forecasters, who had hoped to see 13m units shifted.

Gross margins in the fiscal second quarter topped forecasts to come in at 47.4 per cent, above Wall Street’s average estimate of 42.8 per cent, and a fivefold surge in iPhone sales in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong bolstered revenue in the region to $7.9bn.

The latest stellar set of numbers led to a bounce in Apple shares, which have lost 13 per cent over the last fortnight in volatile trading.

The stock jumped by more than seven per cent after-hours to $601, from a close of $560.28 on Nasdaq.

“Apple has executed very well. But you are starting to see the iPad... reach some sort of saturation with the current product,” said Patrick Becker, a principal at Becker Capital Management.