Apple Inc. (AAPL) said quarterly profit rose 12% to $7.75 billion, with rising iPhone and Mac sales helping to offset waning demand in iPads.

Apple sold 35.2 million iPhones and 4.4 million Macs in the fiscal third quarter ended June 28, up 13% and 18% respectively from a year ago. That helped boost revenue by 6% to $37.4 billion. iPad sales fell for the second straight quarter to 13.3 million.

For the quarter, the company earned $1.28 per share, up from $1.07 per share a year ago. Analysts polled by I/B/E/S had been expecting third-quarter earnings of $1.229 per share. This is also the second straight quarter of rising profits after Apple experienced its first annual last year for the first time in over a decade.

Some on Wall Street have dubbed Apple’s quarterly results “unremarkable,” as they weren’t the blowout that investors have come to anticipate from the company. The next couple of quarters will be very telling for Apple, as various reports have the company rolling out bigger-screen iPhones, a wearable gadget and an upgrade to its Apple TV set-top box.

For the fiscal fourth quarter, Apple forecast sales of $37 billion to $40 billion. Gross margin will be 37% to 38%.

Apple hope that its new, larger-screen iPhones will be able to tap into the recent trend toward larger handsets. This is especially important since demand for Apple’s other key product, iPads, is being hurt by a marketplace saturated with lower-cost alternatives and by customers holding onto their tablets longer.

Also, in a conference call with analysts, chief executive Tim Cook said that Apple continues to look for acquisitions. The company has purchased 29 companies since the start of fiscal year 2013, and made five deals last quarter, he said.

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Wayne Thorp
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Wayne A. Thorp, CFA, is editor of Computerized Investing and a vice president and the senior financial analyst at The American Association of Individual Investors (AAII). He is also the program manager for AAII's Stock Investor Pro fundamental stock screening and research database program and is on the advisory boards of AAII's Stock Superstars Report and Dividend Investing newsletters. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a 1997 honors graduate of DePaul University in Chicago. Wayne's interests include stock screening, technical analysis and charting, social media and tech gadgets. However, in the summer he'd prefer to be hip-deep in northern Michigan's Manistee River fly-fishing for rainbow trout.

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