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Apple continues to toy with the analyst community as they reported an absolutely blockbuster quarter after the bell.  Analysts were looking for EPS of $1.42 (we were looking for $1.66) on revenues of 9.2B.  Apple reported $1.82 on revenues of $9.87B.   This was Apple’s most profitable quarter ever as Mac and iPhone sales set records.  Steve Jobs was obviously pleased with the quarter:

“We are thrilled to have sold more Macs and iPhones than in any previous quarter,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’ve got a very strong lineup for the holiday season and some really great new products in the pipeline for 2010.”

Apple sets the bar low for the upcoming quarter.  Guidance is well shy of expectations, but that is the norm here.

“We are delighted with our September quarter and fiscal 2009 results,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “For the full year, we grew revenue by 12 percent and net income by 18 percent in extraordinarily challenging times. Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2010, we expect revenue in the range of about $11.3 billion to $11.6 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share in the range of about $1.70 to $1.78.”

The “better than expected” parade continues.  Expect another big move tomorrow in the markets.  There is just no two ways around this – as we’ve been saying for weeks, the analysts are just absurdly pessimistic about this earnings season.

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