Apple reported sales US$43.6 billion and earnings per share of $10.09 for the March quarter on Tuesday. The results were ahead of Wall Street's consensus expectations of $42.49 billion in revenue and EPS of $10.07, that's ahead of last year's revenues of $39.2 billion, but as expected, the company's earnings of $9.5 billion were lower than 2012's $11.6 billion.
Gross margins were 37.5 percent, a steep decline from the 47.4 percent of the year-ago quarter, but the decline was largely baked into the stock.
Apple also reported that it sold some 37.4 million iPhones, up year over from 35.1 million units. The company sold 19.5 million iPads, higher than the 11.8 million units it sold last year. Mac sales were "just under" 4 million units. In the March quarter of 2012, Apple sold 4 million Macs.
After hours traders greeted the news, sending it up to $420.90, a gain of $14.77 (+3.64%), erasing most of the hit begun by a Cirrus Logic warning that many interpreted as an iPhone slowdown.
Part of the after-hours increase can be attributed to Apple also announcing an increase in its capiral return program.
Apple added $12.5 billion in cash flow and announced that it ended the quarter with a staggering $145 billion in cash on hand. The company said it will increase its share buyback program to $60 billion, and its dividend to $3.05 per share, a 15 percent increase. We have more details coming in separate coverage.
"We are pleased to report record March quarter revenue thanks to continued strong performance of iPhone and iPad," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. "Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software and services, and we are very excited about the products in our pipeline."
Apple guided for between $33.5 billion and $35.5 billion in revenue, with gross margins between 36 and 27 percent.
[Update: The story was updated with additional details.]
*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a tiny, almost insignificant share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.