by Marc Bastow | April 24, 2012 5:09 pm
The markets could have exploded in Michael Bay-esque fashion and not a person would have noticed, as all investors’ eyes were on Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) after-market earnings release.
Like usual, the Cupertino Colossus didn’t disappoint.
Apple’s second-quarter earnings report was a smashing success story, with the company reporting Street-beating earnings of $11.6 billion ($12.30 per share), nearly double the year-ago period’s profits. Wall Street expected earnings of $10.04 per share.
Revenues of $39.2 billion also cleared estimates for $36.8 billion with little effort, as Apple sold 11.8 million iPads and 35.1 million iPhones in the quarter.
AAPL shares were up more than 7% in early after-market trading, clearing the $600 mark.
Of course, the markets didn’t explode Tuesday — in fact, they were mostly mixed, with the Dow and S&P 500 up marginally to 13,003 and 1,372, respectively, and the Nasdaq dropping 0.3% to 2,961.60. Two bad-news reports on housing clashed against strong earnings from a number of companies, as well as a dividend increase at IBM (NYSE:IBM).
3M (NYSE:MMM) gained 1.56% to $88.49 as the company reported adjusted first-quarter earnings of $1.63 a share, beating analyst EPS estimates of $1.49. AT&T (NYSE:T) climbed a Dow-best 3.6% to $31.72 after posting its own strong first-quarter earnings of 60 cents, which beat analysts’ estimates of 57 cents. Sales rose 1.8% to $31.8 million, in line with analysts estimates, as wireless subscribers spent more on browsing the Web, downloading video and sending e-mail.
Meanwhile, IBM raised its dividend 10 cents to 85 cents per share, for a yield of 1.7% on current prices, and boosted its stock-buyback plan by $7 billion, bringing the total shares available for repurchase to $12.7 billion.
Headed lower Tuesday was Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), which sunk 14% to close under $90 after Monday’s disappointing earnings report and projections of a slowdown in growth of U.S. streaming customers. Following Netflix lower was Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC), which reduced sales and profit estimates for its just-completed fiscal fourth quarter and saw its shares crash 11.4%.
Marc Bastow is an assistant editor of InvestorPlace. As of this writing, he was long AAPL.
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