Apple Inc.s (AAPL) - Get Report German-listed shares rose sharply in early Wednesday trading after the world's biggest tech company posted a robust set of fiscal third quarter earnings and appeared to silence speculation of a potential delay in its next iPhone launch.
Apple shares listed on the Deutsche Boerse in Frankfurt were marked 6.75% higher at €134,300 for 500 units, a gain of €8.30 from their previous close of €126.00. Apple's main listing in New York gained 6.14% in pre-market trading after closing at $150.05 each in the main session and are expected to open north of $160 a share later today, giving the company a market value of more than $800 billion.
Apple said its expects to see revenue over its fiscal fourth quarter -- which ends in September -- to be in the region of $49 billion to $52 billion, a figure that topped analysts' forecasts and suggests that rumours of production and technical delays linked to the 10th anniversary iPhone release later this year are unfounded.
Apple's third-quarter earnings were also stronger-than-expected, with earnings coming in ahead of analysts' forecasts at $1.67 per share while total revenue was tabbed at $45.41 billion. The Cupertino, California-based group also said all-time iPhone sales topped the 1.2 billion mark during the three months ending in June after 41.03 million units were shipped during the quarter, a 1.6% increase from the same period last year.
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The only blemish on the otherwise stellar quarterly report card was a modest -- though perhaps telling -- miss on average iPhone selling prices, which lagged the Wall Street consensus by 2.4% at $606 per unit.
As TheStreet's Eric Jhonsa noted, iPad sales were easily the biggest surprise in the report: After having dropped 12% annually in the March quarter, iPad revenue grew 2% to $4.97 billion, trouncing a $3.95 billion consensus. Unit sales rose 15% to 11.4 million, reversing the March quarter's 13% drop and ending a very long string of annual declines.
As the gap between unit and revenue growth drives home, the iPad turnaround wasn't driven by the high-end iPad Pro line, which Apple refreshed at its early-June WWDC conference and which it has been heavily promoting as a notebook substitute. Rather, it was driven by the mid-range tablet -- simply called the iPad -- that the company launched in March.
Though its specs are marginally inferior to those of the iPad Air 2 it replaced in Apple's lineup, the iPad's $329 starting price also makes it $70 cheaper, and it looks like that provided a big sales boost.
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