Fourth quarter Apple pie: Profit, stock prices jump

New iPods, Mac sales lead surge

New iPod models, a price cut for the iPhone and record Mac sales helped Apple's latest quarterly profit rise 67% and exceed Wall Street expectations.

The financial update came after a trading session that saw Apple shares hit a 52-week high of $174.90 before closing up 2.3% at $174.36. The stock rose further in after-hours trading.

The company reported a fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $904 million, up from $546 million a year ago.

Revenue rose 28% year-over-year to $6.2 billion for the quarter ending Sept. 30. Of that, more than $1.6 billion came from iPods, $601 million came from other music-related products and services and $118 million were iPhone-related.

Apple sold 10.2 million iPods during the latest quarter, up 17% from a year ago. In the first full quarter of iPhone sales, the company sold more than 1.1 million units, bringing cumulative fiscal year sales to nearly 1.4 million phones.

For the full fiscal year, Apple's profit hit $3.5 billion, with revenue of $24 billion.

"We're looking forward to a strong December quarter as we enter the holiday season with Apple's best products ever," CEO Steve Jobs said.

He was not on the conference call, in which CFO Peter Oppenheimer said management expects to bring in a record holiday quarter, with projected revenue of about $9.2 billion and earnings of about $1.42 per share.

Oppenheimer shrugged off concerns about a possible U.S. recession, saying the company is "quite confident" in its outlook because of its strong recent product launches.

Oppenheimer also said Apple's stores had a record quarter and that the firm plans to open 40 stores this fiscal year, including its first outlet in China in Beijing. Apple operates 197 stores.