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Apple profits jump 54% on record sales of 4.9M Macs, 11.2M iPads

Apple said Tuesday that fourth quarter profits rose nearly 54% to $6.62 billion, or $7.05 per diluted share, driven by record sales of more than 11 million iPads and nearly 5 million Macs.

The company posted quarterly revenue of $28.27 billion and quarterly net profit of $6.62 billion, or $7.05 per diluted share for the three-month period ending September 24, 2011. The results compare to revenue of $20.34 billion and net quarterly profit of $4.31 billion, or $4.64 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

“We are thrilled with the very strong finish of an outstanding fiscal 2011, growing annual revenue to $108 billion and growing earnings to $26 billion,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Customer response to iPhone 4S has been fantastic, we have strong momentum going into the holiday season, and we remain really enthusiastic about our product pipeline.”

Apple sold 17.07 million iPhones during the quarter as it drew down inventories ahead of this month's iPhone 4S launch, still representing 21 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. The Cupertino-based firm also reported new quarterly records for iPad sales at 11.2 million units and Macs at 4.89 million units, an increase of, a 166 percent and 26 percent, respectively.

Apple also sold a record low 6.62 million iPods, a 27 percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 40.3 percent compared to 36.9 percent in the year-ago quarter and International sales accounted for 63 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

“We are extremely pleased with our record September quarter revenue and earnings and with cash generation of $5.4 billion during the quarter,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2012, which will span 14 weeks rather than 13, we expect revenue of about $37 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share of about $9.30.”

Apple will provide live streaming of its Q4 2011 financial results conference call beginning at 2:00 p.m. PDT. AppleInsider will provide full coverage.