Apple reports strongest 3Q ever

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Apple Inc. reported third-quarter revenue of $5.41 billion, a 73 percent rise in quarterly profit and its highest June quarter revenue.

The report came after the stock fell 6 percent last Tuesday on signs that demand for the iPhone failed to meet investors' expectations. Activations from AT&T Inc., the exclusive carrier of the iPhone, were lower than expected, with 146,000 units activated in the first two days of the sales agreement. Shares fell $8.81, or 6.1 percent, to $134.89 on Tuesday but rose 7.6 percent on Thursday with shares up $10.49 at $147.75 on the Nasdaq.

"Some people got carried away with what they expected Apple to sell," said Michael Gartenberg, vice president and research director at JupiterResearch, New York. "But if you look at the actual sales of all of the products, it is clear that the company is doing very well."

Apple reported selling 270,000 iPhones in the first 30 hours after the product launch.

"That's incredible for consumer electronics, especially when you consider that many buyers had to break their service contracts and change carriers," Gartenberg added.

Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's CFO, said in a press call Wednesday that he expects to sell 1 million iPhones by the end of this quarter. The goal is to sell 10 million units globally in 2008. Apple's net quarterly profit was $818 million, or 92 cents per diluted share, which it attributed to increased Mac sales. The results compare to revenue of $4.37 billion and net quarterly profit of $472 million, or 54 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

The company shipped 1,764,000 computers, representing 33 percent growth over the year-ago quarter. The company also sold 9,815,000 iPods during the quarter. International sales accounted for 40 percent of the quarter's revenue.

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