Apple Inc posted better-than-forecast Mac sales and strong growth in Asia and Europe, but iPhone shipments came in just below Wall Street's somewhat heightened expectations. The stock edged 1 per cent higher in after-hours trading, building on a 2.7 per cent rise on Nasdaq during the day, and provided Apple a boost heading into Wednesday, when it is expected to launch a highly touted tablet computer.
International sales made up nearly 60 per cent of Apple's revenue in the quarter, with sales more than doubling in the Asia Pacific and rising 40 per cent in Europe.
Apple said on Monday it shipped 8.7 million iPhones in the holiday quarter, double the year-ago figure but just short of the Wall Street target of roughly 9 million. Apple's iPhones compete with Research in Motion's BlackBerry and other smartphones. But Mac sales continued to show momentum, rising 33 per cent from a year ago to 3.36 million units versus analysts' average estimate of about 3 million.
“Mac sales were very strong, which more than offset what might be perceived as a ho-hum iPhone number,” said Bill Kreher, an analyst with Edward Jones.
Gross margin rose to 40.9 percent from 37.9 percent a year ago on a continued shift toward higher-margin products like Macs and iPhones.