Shares of Apple surged in after-hours trading, climbing as much as 5.37% to $115 per share

Apple Inc. Smashes Earnings Estimates

Apple released the earnings results from its first fiscal quarter of 2015 tonight, posting earnings of $3.06 per share on sales of $74.6 billion for the December quarter. Analysts had been expecting earnings per share of $2.60 on $63.5 billion in revenue.

In the same quarter last year, Apple reported revenue of $57.6 billion and adjusted earnings of $2.07 per share.

Key metrics from Apple’s earnings report

The company reported a gross margin of 39.9%, compared to 37.9% in the same quarter last year. Apple reported all-time record revenue from sales of the iPhone and Mac and record App Store performance. The company sold 74.5 million iPhone units during the quarter, also a new record. That was significantly higher than the FactSet consensus estimate of 68 million iPhones. Apple sold 21.419 million iPads and 5.519 million Macs.

“We’d like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter, which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “Our revenue grew 30 percent over last year to $74.6 billion, and the execution by our teams to achieve these results was simply phenomenal.”

In China, Apple reported $16.144 billion in revenue, while in the Americas, Apple saw $30.566 billion. In Europe, the company collected $17.214 billion in revenue, while in Japan, revenue was $5.448 billion, and in the Rest of the Asia Pacific region, revenue was $5.227 billion.

Apple provides guidance

For the current quarter, Apple management expects revenue to be between $52 billion and $55 billion. They expect the gross margin to be between 38.5% and 39.5% and operating expenses to be between $5.4 billion and $5.5 billion.

Apple’s board declared a cash dividend of 47 cents per share. That dividend will be paid on Feb. 12 to shareholders of record on Feb. 9.

Luca Maestri, Apple’s chief financial officer, said in a statement, “We spent over $8 billion on our capital return program, bringing total returns to investors to almost $103 billion, over $57 billion of which occurred in just the last 12 months.”