NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Technology results dominated Tuesday's after-hours session after strong performances from Apple ( AAPL) and International Business Machines ( IBM). After falling more than 2% on news that CEO and founder Steve Jobs was taking a second leave of absence for medical reasons, Apple shares were last quoted at $346.10, up 1.6%, on volume of 4.4 million after the company crushed Wall Street's expectations for its fiscal first-quarter results.
Apple said it earned $6 billion, or $6.43 a share, for the three months ended Dec. 25, up from a year-ago profit of $3.4 billion, or $3.37 a share, and almost 20% ahead of the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for earnings of $5.40 a share. Revenue totaled $26.74 billion in the quarter, beating a consensus view of $24.43 billion, as Apple sold 4.13 million Mac computers, up 23% year-over-year; 16.24 million iPhones, up 86%; 19.45 million iPods, down 7%; and 7.33 million iPads. Apple shares have appreciated nearly 70% in the past 52 weeks, including a run-up of more than 8% so far this year. Meantime, IBM shares gained nearly 3% to $154.95 on volume of almost 850,000 after the Dow component topped Wall Street's expectations for its fourth-quarter results by a healthy margin. Boosted by strong year-over-year increases in mainframe, software and services revenue, Big Blue reported adjusted earnings of $4.18 per share on sales of $29 billion for the three months ended Dec. 31, well ahead of the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for a profit of $4.08 per share on revenue of $28.26 billion. For 2011, IBM forecast adjusted earnings of at least $13 per share ahead of the current consensus estimate for earnings of $12.58 a share. IBM's stock is up just shy of 14% in the past 52 weeks with 2.2% of that gain coming since the start of this year. Sentiment was decidedly bullish ahead of its report with 51 of the 56 analysts covering the shares at either strong buy (29) or buy (22).