Updated from July 19Shares of Apple Computer ( AAPL) rose after the iPod maker posted third-quarter earnings late Wednesday that were 10 cents a share better than anticipated. Investors smiled on the company's stock, even though Apple again offered disappointing guidance and reported relatively weak sales of the iPod, which has been key to the company's revival. In early Thursday trading, Apple was recently up $6.45, or 11.9%, to $60.55. Company officials, of course, pointed to the positive. In a statement, company CEO Steve Jobs, for instance, noted that sales of the company's Macintosh computers grew 12% in the quarter on a unit basis. "We're very pleased to report the second-highest quarterly sales and earnings in Apple's history," added company CFO Peter Oppenheimer in the statement. In the quarter ended July 1, Apple earned $472 million, or 54 cents a share. That was up from a year ago, when the company earned $320 million, or 37 cents a share. Sales grew 24% year over year to $4.37 billion. While earnings were well above the Street's estimates, sales were a bit shy. The consensus view of analysts polled by Thomson First Call called for earnings of 44 cents a share on sales of $4.4 billion. In April, Apple forecast earnings for the quarter of 39 to 43 cents a share on sales ranging from $4.2 billion to $4.4 billion. The company's profit was boosted by lower-than-anticipated component costs, higher-than-anticipated interest and other income, and lower-than-expected taxes due to a gain related to bringing home profit earned overseas, Oppenheimer said on a conference call. The tax benefit alone added about $24 million, or 3 cents a share, to the company's earnings, he said. But repeating a move the company made last quarter, Apple warned analysts that they needed to reduce their estimates for the current period. Apple expects to earn 46 to 48 cents a share in the quarter on sales ranging from $4.5 billion to $4.6 billion.