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Apple on Track to Become First Trillion Dollar Company After Big Q3 Earnings

Higher iPhone price tag boosts revenue despite below-projections sales

Step aside, Amazon. Apple is on the verge of becoming the first $1 trillion company, after beating Wall Street expectations for Q3 revenue and earnings on Tuesday afternoon.

The tech giant reported earnings per share of $2.34 and $53.3 billion in revenue — pushing past analyst estimates of earnings per share of $2.18 and revenue of $52.34 billion, according Yahoo Finance. Sales increased 17 percent year-over-year.

Apple didn’t sell as many iPhones as Wall Street was looking for — 41.3 million compared to the 41.8 million analysts had projected — but revenue still increased 20 percent compared to the same period last year, thanks to the higher price tag on the iPhone X. The average selling price for iPhone was $724 — up from $606 last year.

Apple shares ticked up 2.5 percent in after-hours trading to $195.32 per share. The Cupertino, California-based company is now within striking distance of beating Amazon to the punch on a $1 trillion valuation. Apple needs another 3 percent push to hit the milestone.

“We’re thrilled to report Apple’s best June quarter ever, and our fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit revenue growth,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, in a statement accompanying earnings. “Our Q3 results were driven by continued strong sales of iPhone, Services and Wearables, and we are very excited about the products and services in our pipeline.”

Apple gave investors more reasons to at least temporarily forget about a difficult earnings season for tech companies. The company raised guidance for the fourth quarter, projecting it would pull in between $60 billion and $62 billion. Apple’s presence in China continued to grow, with the company reporting $9.55 billion in sales in the country — a 19 percent jump year-over-year. Apple reported a $11.52 billion profit for the quarter.

Services — Apple’s wide-ranging sector encompassing the App Store, iTunes, and Apple Care — continued to grow at a rapid pace, increasing 31 percent from last year to $9.55 billion in sales. Cook pointed to the “thriving” App Store on the company’s earnings call, and found time to take a dig at its rival, Google, saying Apple’s apps have generated twice as much revenue.

Another standout: Apple’s massive cash hoard — something investors always like to point to — decreased $23.5 billion to nearly $244 billion.