APPLE shares surged to an all-time high last night after the technology giant delivered sales and profit figures well ahead of Wall Street forecasts.
The California-based company earned 1.7 billion US dollars (£1 billion) in the three months to September 26, an increase of 47% after sales jumped 25% to 9.9 billion US dollars (£6.1 billion).
Apple has weathered the economic storm better than many other computer companies, giving it an edge when PC sales started to grow in the quarter.
It sold 3.1 million Macs, a 19% rise from the same period a year ago after it updated its operating system and refreshed its MacBook Pro line.
With the company unveiling a faster iPhone in June and cutting the price of the previous generation of the product, iPhone sales rose to 7.4 million devices, half a million more than in the same period of 2008.
Meanwhile, sales of Apple’s regular iPod music player have suffered as a result of the popularity of the iPhone, which has iPod features built in. The company sold 10.2 million iPods in the quarter, 8% fewer than last year.
Shares in the company rose more than 6% in after-hours trading, even though the company was more cautious about the current quarter than analysts had been expecting.
Broadpoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall said the latest figures reinforced his view that "Apple is hands down the best technology company on the planet".
Investors are anticipating more growth for the iPhone as the company is due to start to selling the product in China on October 30.