Apple said Tuesday that soaring sales of its iPhone, especially in Asia, nearly doubled its profit in the company’s fiscal second quarter.

Apple said it sold 35.1 million iPhones in the quarter, an 88 percent increase from the period a year ago. It sold 11.8 million iPads, more than double the number it sold in the quarter last year.

For the quarter that ended March 31, the company reported net income of $11.62 billion, or $12.30 a share, compared with $5.99 billion, or $6.40 a share, in the period a year earlier.

Apple’s revenue was $39.19 billion, up from $24.67 billion a year ago.

Apple previously told Wall Street to expect earnings of $8.50 a share and revenue of $32.5 billion for the quarter. But as they do nearly every quarter, analysts viewed Apple’s official figures as low-ball estimates and came up with their own more bullish forecasts. On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected Apple to report earnings of $10.06 a share and revenue of $36.81 billion for the quarter.

Investors in Apple had grown increasingly skittish about Apple’s performance in the weeks before the earnings report, sending its shares down from a high of $644 to $560.28 at the close of regular trading on Tuesday. Among their chief concerns were research data showing weak sales of the Macintosh computer and worries about whether iPhone sales could keep up their momentum.

But immediately after the results from Apple came out, its shares shot up nearly 7.5 percent in extended trading. Even after the jitters of the last several weeks, Apple’s shares are up 37 percent for the year and the company remains the world’s most highly valued company.

One fear had been a repeat of a pattern from last year, when Apple said it lost some sales of the iPhone because of a steady escalation of rumors about the release of a new model. Those rumors were accurate, as Apple showed when it announced the iPhone 4S in early October.

There is wide speculation that Apple will again introduce a new iPhone in the fall and that consumers might simply wait for its release so they can get the latest gadget. The iPhone has become an engine of Apple’s growth over the last two years , accounting for almost 40 percent of the company’s revenue during the quarter.

Apple, which has its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., benefited strongly from international sales during the quarter, which accounted for 64 percent of total company revenue. Apple executives have repeatedly identified overseas markets as one of the company’s most promising growth opportunities. The iPhone 4S went on sale in China on Jan. 13, near the beginning of the last quarter.

Of all its overseas market, the company said revenue from the Asia-Pacific region grew the most, more than doubling to $10.15 billion. Sales in the region now account for more than a quarter of total Apple revenue, compared with 19 percent a year ago.

 

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