Larger iPhones bring another Apple quarterly revenue record

It's another record for Apple's third fiscal quarter, a time period that's generally modest due to next-generation iPhone sales coming soon. Those bigger handsets are generating bigger revenues.

Apple's fiscal third quarter usually isn't the strongest when it comes to iPhone sale but the bigger iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets have changed the equation.

The company Tuesday reported quarterly revenues of $49.6 billion and quarterly net profit of $10.7 billion, which works out to $1.85 per diluted share.

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Apple improved its cash balance by $15 billion in the quarter while also returning $13 billion to shareholders as part of its capital return program. The company declared a cash dividend of $.52 per share for shareholders of record on August 10, 2015.

During the quarter, Apple's iPhone revenue saw a 59 percent boost and sales rose 35 percent to 47.5 million units over the same period last year as consumers continued to flock to the company's larger handsets.

That doesn't bode well for Apple's competitors; particularly Samsung, which seen profit challenges of late, even with the debut of its Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge flagship phones a few months prior.

Both the iPhone and Mac sales were a record for the company's third quarter. Apple also experienced record revenues from services such as the iTunes Music Store and App Store. iPad sales totaled 10.9 million for the quarter, down sequentially and from the third quarter last year. Apple sold 4.7 million Mac computers.

For the fiscal fourth quarter, Apple provided the following guidance:

  • Revenue between $49 billion and $51 billion
  • Gross margin between 38.5 percent and 39.5 percent
  • Operating expenses between $5.85 billion and $5.95 billion
  • Other income/(expense) of $400 million
  • Tax rate of 26.3 percent

In its earnings statement, Apple didn't answer the question that everyone is asking: How many Apple Watches did the company sell?

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Apple previously said it wouldn't be breaking out figures for those sales and instead would be including them in its "Other Products" category. Indeed, that grouping saw a large jump, both from the prior quarter and from the same period last year, growing by 56 and 49 percent, respectively.

Apple will hold its investor call later today where it will surely be asked about the wearable product line as well its outlook on iPad sales.