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third-quarter earnings

after the close of trading, beating expectations and sending shares higher.

For the fiscal third quarter, Apple earned $7.47 a share on $35.3 billion in revenue. Analysts polled were looking for $7.32 a share in earnings on $35.01 billion in sales.

During the quarter, Apple sold 31.2 million iPhones, up from 26 million in the year-ago quarter. It sold 14.6 million iPads during the quarter, compared to 17 million in the same period last year, and sold 3.8 million Macs during the quarter, down from from 4 million in the year-ago quarter.

Gross margin during the quarter was 36.9%, down from 42.8% in the year-ago quarter.

For the fourth-quarter, Apple expects revenue between $34 billion and $37 billion, with gross margin between 36% and 37%. It expects operating expenses between $3.9 billion and $3.95 billion. Analysts surveyed by

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Thomson Reuters

expect $7.95 a share in earnings on $37.08 billion in sales.

On the earnings call, CFO Peter Oppenheimer said Apple is going to ramp up its offerings, as it refreshes its hardware and releases new software and services. "We're on track to have a very busy fall," he said.

Shares were higher following the conclusion of the conference call, gaining 3.51% to $433.70, according to



Written by Chris Ciaccia and James Rogers in New York

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