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Apple earnings soar on iPhone, iPad sales, sending stock to giddy heights

For the quarter that ended in September, Apple earnings were the highest ever, and share prices have followed suit. Even with more competition on the horizon, Wall Street analysts are bullish.

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An Apple iPad is displayed during an iPad launch event at the Apple retail store in San Francisco, California, in this April 3 file photo. Apple announces fourth quarter earnings on Oct. 18.

Robert Galbraith/Reuters

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Apple reported its highest ever revenue and profit for the quarter that ended in September, a sign of the company's prowess in the field of user-friendly mobile gadgets.

Sales are roaring across virtually all its product lines, from smartphones to the new iPad tablet. As a result, Apple saw its share price also rise above $300 per share last week for the first time.

Surging revenues from the iPhone are a major factor that pushed Apple's quarterly revenue above $20 billion for the first time, and its profit to $4.3 billion.

The resulting bullish outlook among Wall Street analysts has turned Apple into the nation's preeminent high-tech firm.

Apple is worth more than rivals such as Microsoft and Google, and it has larger stock-market value than industrial giant General Electric or retailer Wal-Mart.

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs left no doubt about his own "buy" rating.

"The more time that passes the more I am convinced that we've got a tiger by the tail here," Mr. Jobs said of the iPad, a touch-screen device sized squarely in between a phone and a laptop computer.

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