Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) reported bang-up results for its fourth quarter, including record revenue of $20.34 billion and a net quarterly profit of $4.31 billion. Those numbers are up over the same quarter a year ago when Apple reported $12.21 billion in revenue and $2.53 billion in quarterly profit.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected earnings of $4.08 a share on revenue of $18.9 billion, but Apple blew by that estimate with earnings per share of $4.64.
Apple's results, with one notable exception, came in no small way from a boost in sales across the company's product line. For example, the company sold 3.89 million Macs in the quarter, up 27 percent over a year ago. But the biggest increase came from the iPhone, with unit sales of 14.1 million in the quarter, a jump of 91 percent from a year ago.
iPod sales declined in the quarter to 9.05 million -- an 11 percent drop from a year ago. But sales of the newer iPad continue to boom, checking in at 4.19 million for the recent quarter.
"We are blown away to report over $20 billion in revenue and over $4 billion in after-tax earnings -- both all-time records for Apple," Steve Jobs, Apple's co-founder and CEO, said in a statement.
Jobs also made note of the fact that the iPhone's 14.1 million unit sales "handily beating the 12.1 million phones RIM sold in their most recent quarter. We still have a few surprises left for the remainder of this calendar year."
"We’re thrilled with the performance and strength of our business, generating almost $5.7 billion in cash flow from operations during the quarter," Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO, said in a statement. "Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2011, we expect revenue of about $23 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share of about $4.80."
Apple's earnings forecast is also bullish. The company said it expects that in the first fiscal quarter of 2011 its revenue will be "about $23 billion" and diluted earnings per share of about $4.80."
The company is planning a conference call with analysts later today to discuss the earnings results in more detail. Apple shares were down 0.10 percent in after hours trading at 317.90.