Apple Beats Earnings & Revenue Estimates with Record December Quarter [Updated]

Apple Inc. turned in a better-than-expected quarter for the December quarter, the company's first fiscal quarter. Apple reported earnings of US$1.78 per share (net profit of $1.61 billion), well ahead of the consensus estimates of $1.29-$1.39 per share, and revenue of $10.1 billion, ahead of the $9.75 billion Wall Street expected.

These results mark yet another record quarter for the company, and compare to revenue of $9.6 billion and a net quarterly profit of $1.58 billion, or $1.76 EPS, in the year-ago quarter.

"Even in these economically challenging times, we are incredibly pleased to report our best quarterly revenue and earnings in Apple history -- surpassing $10 billion in quarterly revenue for the first time ever," Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, said in a statement.

Apple's numbers include the subscription accounting system Apple uses for iPhone sales, which recognize that revenue over a two year period. The company said that it's non-GAAP sales (i.e. just counting all the money it actually took in this quarter) amounted to $11.8 billion of "Adjusted Sales" and $2.3 billion of "Adjusted Net Income."

Apple sold 2.524 million Macs during the quarter, a 9% gain year over year. and a record 22.7 million iPods, representing 3% year over year unit growth. The company sold 4.363 million iPhones, representing an 88% year over year growth, though a drop from the 6.5 million iPhones the company sold in the September quarter.

The company added more than $3.6 billion in cash to its already massive cash holdings during the quarter.

The company guided the second quarter lower than consensus estimates, telling investors and analysts that it expected to earn between $.90-$1.00 per share on revenue of $7.6-$8 billion. Wall Street had been expecting earnings of $1.13 per share on revenue of $8.2 billion.

Shares in the company leapt higher in after hour trading ahead of Apple's conference call with analysts, with the stock trading at $90.55, a gain of $7.72 per share (+9.32%).

[Update: This article was updated with additional details on Apple's quarterly performance.]

*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a small share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.