Apple today announced its earnings for the third quarter of 2011. Apple’s revenue amounted to a staggering $28.57B in Q3. With earnings of $7.79/share.

Its gross margin was 41.7%, which was better than expected by the company. Apple’s net profit in Q3 was $7.31B.

Apple sold a massive 20.34M iPhones, up 142% year over year, and 9.25M iPads this quarter, bringing iPad sales up 183% year over year as well. Apple sold 3.95 million Macs during the quarter, bringing sales up 14% when compared to the same quarter a year ago.

Apple’s revenue was up from Q2 and blew away Wall Street estimates. Thomspon Reuters estimates of Apple’s Q3 had placed overall revenue at $24.9B, with earnings of $5.80/share, while Moskowitz called for sales of $27.42B with earnings of $6.58.

The only product sales to go down were iPods, of which Apple sold 7.54M, which is down 20% from the year ago quarter.

This is the best non-holiday Mac quarter as well as the best iPad and iPhone sales quarter in Apple’s history. You can find the Apple earnings release here.

Dare to compare

In the Q2 earnings report, issued in March, Apple’s CFO Peter Oppenheimer said that they expected revenue of about $24B, with diluted earnings per share of about $5.03. Apple also predicted that its gross margin could be as low as 38% due to its difficulty in shipping product.

In Q2 of 2011, Apple reported  an 83% quarterly growth with revenue of $24.67B and a net profit of $9.6B, representing a record for that quarter and a 95% growth in profits.  International sales accounted for 59% of Q2′s revenue.

Apple sold 18.65M iPhones in Q2, a 113% growth over the same quarter in 2010, and 4.69M iPads. iPod sales declined 17%, with sales amounting to 9.02M.

Year over year

It’s hard to recognize the Apple of today as the same company, simply older, of Q3 last year. Net profit was a mere, an odd word for it honestly, 3.25 billion in the same fiscal quarter of 2010, less than half of what Apple posted today.

And on doubling revenue, Apple managed to actually increase its margins by nearly three percent, a real feat. Apple’s growth, and its consistency, is astounding.

Apple’s total reported assets as of the end of fiscal Q3 2011 were 106.7 billion dollars,  a roughly 40 billion dollar increase in the last 12 months. That means that Apple’s assets grew at 3.3 billion dollars per month in the last year.

The Response

In after hours trading, Apple’s stock is up over 6%. The market seems to like what they are hearing.

Some tidbits from the earnings call:

  • Apple’s cash and marketable securities stockpile is now at $76.2B
  • More iPads sold to the K-12 educational market than Macs
  • 220 million iOS devices have been sold
  • 37 million iOS devices were sold in Q3 alone
  • The company is deferring $22 of revenue from every Mac and $16 from iPhone and iPad sold to ‘pay’ for updates to the software.
  • The iPad’s sales have passed the Mac in Apple’s lineup
  • OS X Lion is launching tomorrow
  • Apple sold “every iPad we could make”
  • There are now 327 total Apple Retail stores that hosted 73.7M visitors
  • Apple has paid out over $2.5B to developers from the App Store. This equates to $1.25B to Apple
  • Apple still considers Apple TV a hobby, although it is ‘selling well’