Apple Smashes Targets, Hits New High

Apple reports first-quarter earnings that sailed way beyond Wall Street's expectations.
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Updated with stock prices and conference call comments.

CUPERTINO, Calif. (

TheStreet

) --

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

flew past targets on a blowout iPhone sales performance.

The Mac maker on Tuesday posted adjusted earnings of $3.33 a share, up from the $1.79 profit in the year-ago quarter and well above the analysts' estimates of $2.45.

Sales for the fiscal second quarter ended last month were $13.5 billion, up from $8.16 billion last year and greatly exceeding the $12.02 billion analysts were looking for.

Looking ahead, Apple says it expects earnings of between $2.28 and $2.39 a share on sales in a range between $13 billion to $13.4 billion. The midpoint of that guidance is a projected profit of $2.33 a share on $13.2 billion in revenue. Analysts were looking for a profit of $2.70 on $13 billion in sales.

Apple shares closed down 1% in regular trading at $244.59. When trading resumed, Apple shares roared past another all-time high, adding $14.42, or 6%, to trade at $259.01 in the after hours.

Apple investors have a track record for hitting the sell button to lock in gains. After watching the stock more than double in the past year, some tech investors are

bracing for a rough ride in the earnings aftermath

.

On an earnings call with analysts, Apple executives said that sales strength, especially with the iPhone, was helped by a big performance in Asia. Specifically, Apple said sales in China grew 200% to $1.3 billion in the past six months.

--Reported by Scott Moritz in New York

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