Riding sales of its iPad tablet computer, Apple Inc. reported Tuesday its highest quarterly revenue ever, sending its stock higher and giving the company a respite from recent woes related to its new iPhone.
The Cupertino, Calif., company also gave a bullish forecast for the current quarter, surprising analysts by topping their estimates by as much as 6% and signaling that the company did not expect the iPhone's antenna issues to hurt its bottom line.
"If they'd begun to sniff out a slowdown in demand they thought was meaningful, I think they would've provided a more conservative forecast," said Yair Reiner, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co.
Apple shares rose an additional 2%, or $5.21, in extended trading after climbing 2.6%, or $6.31, to $251.89 in regular trading.
The company posted $15.7 billion in sales in its fiscal third quarter ended June 26, a 61% increase from the same quarter last year, beating Wall Street's expectations. Apple said it sold nearly 3.3 million iPads in the first three months since the device went on sale, and was continuing to sell as many of the tablet computers as it could make.
"It was a phenomenal quarter that exceeded our expectations all around, including the most successful product launch in Apple's history with iPhone 4," Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said in a statement.
The company said it had also sold more Mac computers than ever before, and continued to report strong sales of its popular iPhone.
Because the new iPhone 4 went on sale only a few days before the recent quarter ended, most of the 8.4 million phones Apple sold during the period were older models. Any effect on sales arising from the iPhone antenna issue would not have appeared in the quarter's results.
After the phone's release, users discovered that touching it in a certain spot could cause reception problems in some cases. Jobs suggested Friday that the issue was minor, but agreed to give free protective cases to all users who purchased a phone by Sept. 30.
The free cases could cost Apple $175 million, the company said. But executives stressed that iPhone 4 sales remained brisk.
"The demand for iPhone 4 is absolutely stunning," said Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer, in a call with investors. "We're working very hard to catch up to it."
The company reported profit of $3.25 billion, or $3.51 a share, a 78% increase over the same quarter last year.
Separately, Yahoo Inc. disappointed investors, reporting a revenue increase of just 2% over the same quarter last year and raising questions about the financial outlook for the pioneering search engine operator. The Sunnyvale, Calif., company's stock sank 6.25% in after-hours trading.