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Apple Inc. Beats Earnings, iPhone Shipment Estimates

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) released the earnings results from its second fiscal quarter, posting diluted earnings of $11.62 a share on revenue of 45.6 billion for the March quarter. Basic earnings were $11.69 per share. Analysts had been expecting the company to post earnings of $10.18 per share on revenue of $43.53 billion for the company’s second fiscal quarter.

Breaking down Apple’s results

In the same quarter a year ago, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) posted $43.6 billion in revenue and $10.09 per share in net profits. Gross margins rose from 37.5% last year to 39.3% this year. CEO Tim Cook said they posted strong iPhone sales and record services revenue.

During the quarter, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shipped 43.72 million iPhones and 16.35 million iPads. The company reported 2.76 million iPod shipments and 4.136 million Mac shipments. Analysts had been expecting the company to report shipments of 37 million iPhones and 19.5 million iPads.

Many were warning that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s results would not be great, possibly because some buyers may have been holding back on expectations of a larger iPhone 6 this year. There were also concerns because the international launch of the iPhone 5S was earlier this past year than the international launch of previous iPhone models.

Apple guides for June quarter

Analysts had also been warning about the June quarter, which also tends to be slow as consumers dial down their iPhone and iPad purchases even further ahead of the fall launches.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) provided guidance for the current quarter, saying it expects revenue to be between $36 billion and $38 billion. The company projects gross margins to be between 37% and 38% and operating expenses between $4.4 billion and $4.5 billion.

Apple increases capital return

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) also announced plans to expand its capital return program to more than $130 billion. The company plans to use cash through the end of the 2015 calendar year for the program. Apple increased its share repurchase from $60 billion to $90 billion. Apple’s board also approved an increase in the company’s quarterly dividend by 8%, which brings it to $3.29 per share. The dividend is payable on May 15 to shareholders of record on May 12.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) also reported plans to conduct a seven-for-one stock split, halting after-hours trading temporarily to perform the split.

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