Technology giant Apple has issued one of the most lucrative quarterly disappointments in history. The firm's $8.8 billion (7.3 billion euros) net profits were lower than expected and prompted a dip in Apple shares.
Apple shares took a dive of about five percent in after-hours trading Tuesday after the company issued quarterly figures that fell short of prior expectations.
The tech giant is hardly on the breadline, however, having made $8.8 billion in net income in the third quarter of the financial year, up from $7.3 billion in the same period a year ago. The profits equated to an income of $9.32 per share, while market analysts had predicted more than $10 per share.
Total revenues were also up markedly year-on-year, not least thanks to nearly doubled sales of Apple's iPad tablet computer.
"We're thrilled with record sales of 17 million iPads in the June quarter," Apple chief Tim Cook said in a Tuesday press release. "We've also just updated the entire MacBook line, will release [the company's latest computer operating system] Mountain Lion tomorrow and will be launching [new mobile operating system] iOS 6 this fall."
Sales in computers and iPhones were also up, even though the company is releasing a new generation cell phone later this year.
Only sales in the iPod portable music players had fallen year-on-year.
Apple's shares dipped around 5 percent on news of the "disappointing" figures, but the company's stock has skyrocketed over the past year, even after the death of figurehead Steve Jobs. Last November, Apple was trading at under $380 per share; prices peaked this April at just under $640.
msh/ccp (AFP, AP, dpa)