Apple Q3 Earnings Soar: ‘We Sold Every iPad We Could Make’ (Updated)

Top execs talk up iCloud to analysts; after-hours trading rises following stronger-than-expected earnings report

Looks like Christmas came early for Steve Jobs.

Apple had its best non-holiday quarter, with revenues at the tech titan jumping 82 percent to $28.6 billion, the company announced on Tuesday. 

Profits for Apple's third fiscal quarter ending June 25 soared to  $7.3 billion or  $7.79 per share, an 125 percent leap from the same period a year ago. 

Chalk it up to monster iPhone and iPad sales. The company moved 20 million iPhones in the quarter and sold 9 million iPads during the earnings period. 

Also read: iCloud Unveiled — Users Can Upload Music, Photos on 10 Devices

That means that iPhone sales grew a massive 142 percent, while iPad sales increased 183 percent.

"We sold every iPad we could make," Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said in a conference call with analysts after the results were announced. 

Also helping bolster earnings were strong sales of iPhones in emerging markets such as Latin America and the Middle East, and especially China, which accounted for $3.8 billion in revenues. 

Apple's impressive results roundly beat Wall Street's expectations. Analysts had projected profits of $5.83 per share on sales of roughly $25 billion.

The only middling news, it seemed, was that 3.9 million Macs sold during the period. Wall Street analysts had projected that the company would sell 4.2 million computers. In this case Apple's success with the second generation of iPad might have had the effect of dampening sales for its computers. 

“We do believe that some customers chose to purchase an iPad instead of a new Mac over the quarter, but we also believe that even more customers chose to purchase an iPad over a Windows PC," Apple COO TIm Cook said on the call. “As I've said before, there's a lot more of the Windows PC business to cannibalize." 

The earnings announcement took place the day before Apple launches its new operating system Lion, something that Oppenheimer and Cook said should help sales of Macs improve over the next quarter. 

Tuesday results also come as Apple prepares to launch its highly anticipated digital rights locker, the iCloud, this September and amid rumors that the company's board is planning a succession plan in the event that ill health prevents Steve Jobs from continuing as CEO. For his part, Jobs dismissed the Wall Street Journal report as "hogwash." 

But nothing had the Apple chieftains more enthused than the impending debut of the company's cloud technology. 

"We really think we've done it right with iCloud," Cook said. "We're going to deliver a seamless, integrated experience."

Looking ahead, Oppenheimer projected revenues of $25 billion and earnings per share of $5.50 for the company's fourth fiscal quarter.

On the bullish earnings results, Apple's stock rose more than 5 percent or $19.77 per share in after-hours trading.