Updated from 1:09 a.m.
Shares of Apple were trading at $200.50 in the premarket session Tuesday. The stock surged $12.54, or 6.6%, to $202.40 in after-hours trading Monday after closing at $189.86.
The iPhone and Mac maker posted adjusted earnings, excluding one-time items, of $1.82 a share up from the $1.26 profit in the year-ago period and 28% above the $1.42 pro forma earnings analysts were looking for, according to Yahoo! Finance.Sales for Apple's fiscal fourth quarter ended last month were $9.87 billion, up 25% from the $7.9 billion level last year and much more than the $9.2 billion target analysts had for revenue. "We are thrilled to have sold more Macs and iPhones than in any previous quarter," CEO Steve Jobs said in a press release. "We've got a very strong lineup for the holiday season and some really great new products in the pipeline for 2010." Investors and analysts had some trepidation about Apple shares prior to the earnings release, worried that the stock's 121% run-up this year was about to end. It was thought that only a huge upside surprise would be enough to keep Wall Street happy. Apple sold 3.05 million computers, a solid surprise for analysts looking for Mac shipments to be closer to 2.9 million. The iPhone continues to be a runaway success, as Apple says it shipped 7.37 million phones, exceeding the 7 million mark expected. And even iPod sales, which include the iPod Touch, were strong with 10.2 million units sold. Apple hosted a conference call with analysts after the market closed. Apple executives were happy with the company's fiscal fourth-quarter performance but did not elaborate on the macro-economic conditions. Asked if they could comment on the economy, COO Tim Cook said they "leave that to the economists." Steve Jobs was not on the conference call. Looking ahead, Apple says it expects fiscal first-quarter sales between $11.3 billion and $11.6 billion. The $11.45 midpoint is in line with analysts' estimates for the fiscal first quarter. The sales momentum at Apple sets the gadget shop apart from other players like Nokia (NOK - Get Report), Research In Motion (RIMM) and Palm (PALM), which have stumbled lately.