Desmoines News Desk

Apple earnings surge on iPhone sales; co. hikes buybacks

Apple earnings surge on iPhone sales; co. hikes buybacks

Apple extended its financial winning ways Monday, with a record second quarter. Strong demand for Apple’s iPhones, particularly in China, powered earnings and sales past already lofty forecasts for the first three months of the year. Another boon to investors: Apple boosted its capital return program. Shares hit a record in after-hour

Just days after shipping the Apple Watch, the first new product since 2010′s iPad, the company said net income rose 33% to $13.6 billion, or $2.33 per share, in the three months ending in March. Apple’s revenue rose 27%, to $58 billion. Wall Street analysts expected Apple to earn $2.15 a share on sales of $55.9 billion. The so-called “whisper number” for the company’s earnings, which regularly best expectations by a wide margin, was more than $2.27 in the run-up to results.

Plus, Apple hiked its stock buyback plan to $140 billion from $90 billion and increased its quarterly dividend 11%. Shares AAPL rose 1% after hours to $134.91, passing an intraday record. The stock is up 62% over the last year. Apple said it sold 61.1 million iPhones in the quarter, compared to 43.7 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts polled by FactSet had projected sales of 55 million iPhones.

The iPad continues to fade. Apple said it sold 12.6 million iPads in the quarter, below expectations of 15 million, and down 23% from the year-ago quarter. Overall, China was a bright spot. Sales in Greater China surged 71% compared to 21% for the Americas. And earnings of $3.06 a share in that quarter. That’s when it released the best-selling iPhone, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Total iPhones shipments were 74.5 million units. Gartner analyst Van Baker says he expects Apple to continue its winning ways for the remainder of the year, despite new competition for the first time in quite a while from Samsung.