Why Apple Earnings Are Pushing the Shares to a New High

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For the first time in 14 quarters iPad shipments increased, rising 15 percent to 11.42 million units amid strong sales to schools and businesses.

Apple shares soared to an all-time high on Tuesday afternoon after the tech company announced it had sold 41m iPhones in the last three months. Against the analyst's prediction of only 7 to 9.8 million, Apple was able to push the total iPad sales to 11.4 million units, adding $5 billion alone from the sales of these iPads.

While Apple is remaining characteristically tight-lipped about what the next iPhone will look like, it's expected the new phones will have edge-to-edge displays, competing with the sleek recent releases from Samsung. Apple is also expected to launch the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus in September.

Net profit rose to $US8.72 billion, from $US7.80 billion, or $1.42.

However, China has many laws Apple and other technology companies have to dance around-or figure out how to deal with effectively.

Apple stock is up $6.85, or 4.5%, at $156.92.

Mr. Cook said discussions of future iPhones was greater than normal and affected sales, particularly of its highest priced devices, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Apple often attributes much of the growth of its Services category to the App Store, and that continues to be the case this quarter. While top and bottom line results will grab headlines, investors will be closely watching Apple's forward guidance.

Apple's gross margins stood at 38.5% in Q3, marking an increase of about 50 basis points year-over-year.

Apple this afternoon, reported sales of 41.03 million units of the Apple iPhone for the company's fiscal third quarter.

Cook said it's making a big investment in "autonomy", and "autonomous systems", which can be "used in a variety of ways; vehicles are only one". However, revenue from tablet sales was only up 2 percent, suggesting people may be opting for cheaper models.

But investors may be most excited by the company forecast for current quarter revenues to come in from $49 billion to $52 billion. Mac sales also rose 7 percent to Dollars 5.592 billion on 1 percent higher shipments, and sales from other products, such as the Apple Watch and Apple TV, increased 23 percent to USD 2.74 billion. Revenue in this segment increased from $2.2 billion to $2.7 billion.

Competition from local firms such as Huawei and Oppo, as well as dealing with China's strict censorship laws, have caused Apple to lose market share in the country.

For more on Apple's earnings, check out The Final Round, starting at 3:55 p.m. ET, right here on Yahoo Finance.