Apple profit beats estimates as iPhone and iPod sales rise

Does anyone else out there really need an Apple (AAPL) iPod? Guess so. Between January and March, 11 million of them were sold.

iPod sales rose three percent over last year's first three months. iPhone sales were up a whopping 123 percent, as the company sold 3.79 million units during In Apple's fiscal second-quarter, which ended March 28. Net income rose 15 percent, even as Macintosh sales fell three percent.

CFO Peter Oppenheimer, during Apple's earnings conference call today, said it was the company's "the best non-holiday quarter" in its history.

Not bad for a traditionally slow quarter, which typically shows slower sales after the holiday season and when consumer spending slowed.

No word from the company in the earnings press release about Steve Jobs' health or involvement with management.

Apple's profit for the first three months of 2009 came in at $1.33 a share, beating analyst estimates of $1.09, according to Thomson Reuters. Sales in the last quarter of $8.16 billion are up 8.7 percent and beat consensus analyst estimates of $7.96 billion. The company had predicted sales in a range of $7.6 billion to $8 billion in January. Analysts expected Apple to have stronger sales than other tech giants during the quarter. The company said it has $29 billion in cash.

The profit outlook for the current quarter, which ends in June, is for Apple to tally 95 cents to $1 a share. That's under the consensus analyst estimate of $1.12 a share. Sales for the current quarter will be int the range of $7.7 billion to $7.9 billion, which is below the average analyst estimate of $8.28 billion.

Apple shares are trading two percent higher at 6 p.m. New York time in after hours trading.

Shares have rallied 42 percent this year, gaining about 10 times more than the Nasdaq Composite Index. Apple shares have ranged from $78.20 to $192.24 in the past year.

Mac sales matched analyst estimates, selling 2.22 million Mac products during the quarter. Mac sales include products such as its MacBook notebook computers and iMac desktop computers.

Apple's most popular product category is the iPod, which includes the iPod shuffle, touch and nano and others. iPod sales beat analyst estimates.

"I'm very pleased with the resilience of the Mac and even the iPods," Erick Maronak, CFO of Victory Capital Management, told Bloomberg Television in an interview today. "There's a fair amount of demand even in a tough environment."

Apple iPhone sales were expected to come in at just over three million sold. Apple sold 3.79 million. Today, in its earnings report, AT&T said it sold 1.6 million phones.

Maronak said the company is "reining in expectations" with their outlook for the current quarter.
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