Apple surges as rush for iPhones hits record

SHARES in Apple soared last night after strong demand for iPhones and iPads helped it to post record sales, smashing Wall Street profit forecasts.

The world’s most valuable technology firm reported a 73 per cent rise in quarterly revenue to $46.33bn, beating the average Wall Street analyst estimate of $38.91bn. It sent Apple stock up nine per cent in after-hours trading on the Nasdaq.

Net profit rose 118 per cent to $13.06bn, or $13.87 a share. Analysts had expected Apple to earn $10.16 per share for the period, the first quarter since the death of legendary co-founder Steve Jobs.

Apple sold 37m iPhones in the December quarter, double the sales seen this time last year, and more than 15m iPads. These monster figures mean Apple shifted 92.94m phones and 40.43m tablets in 2011.

Chief executive Tim Cook said: “Apple’s momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline.”

The blockbuster results contrasted with another grim day for Yahoo, which reported a drop in net revenue and profit for the fourth quarter.

Seven days after co-founder Jerry Yang resigned from the company, Yahoo reported a five per cent fall in net income to $296m for the three months to 31 December.

Chief executive Scott Thompson said the firm needs to “do better” and “get innovative products that matter into the market”.

Final quarter net revenue, excluding fees that Yahoo shares with web partners, fell 2.9 per cent to $1.17bn.