NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Apple (AAPL) - Get Report are gaining 7.91% to $104.32 in pre-market trading Wednesday after the iPhone maker reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue for the 2016 third quarter.

After yesterday's closing bell, the Cupertino, CA-based tech giant posted earnings of $1.42 per diluted share, exceeding analysts' projections of $1.38 per share.

Revenue was $42.4 billion for the period, also topping analysts' forecasts of $42.1 billion.

Apple sold 40.4 million iPhone during the quarter, while Wall Street was expecting 40.02 million units.

The company's cheaper iPhone SE model is becoming more popular than anticipated with customers.

"The customer demand for our products was significantly stronger than we had anticipated at the beginning of the quarter," CFO Luca Maestri told Bloomberg, "We were not able to fulfill iPhone SE demand throughout the quarter. We have now been able to put in enough capacity to provide sufficient supply for the next quarter."

Additionally, Raymond James upgraded Apple stock to "outperform" from "market perform" with a $129 price target this morning following the results, the Fly reports.

The firm expects a "long, slow re-rating" of the stock as the company shifts to a consumer staple.

Piper Jaffray raised its price target on shares to $153 from $151 with an "overweight" rating.

The firm said the quarter showed that Apple's business is stabilizing and "trending in the right direction," according to the Fly. Piper believes growth should return in the December quarter.

(Apple is a core holding of Jim Cramer's charitable trust Action Alerts PLUS. See all of his holding with a free trial here.)

Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "Buy" rating with a score of B on Apple stock.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins.

The team believes its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: AAPL

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