SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Apple on Wednesday reported flat earnings in its most recent fiscal quarter, and the result slightly beat analysts' estimates.
In its fiscal 2013 first quarter that ended in December 2012, Apple posted a net profit of 13.1 billion U.S. dollars, the same as the year-ago period.
Earnings per share were 13.81 dollars, compared to 13.87 dollars in the same quarter of the previous year.
Apple's revenue in the quarter reached 54.5 billion dollars, representing an increase of nearly 18 percent year on year.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters on average had anticipated earnings per share of 13.41 dollars on revenue of 54.7 billion dollars.
Apple said that it sold 47.8 million iPhones in the last three months of 2012, compared to 37 million in the year-ago quarter. Sales of Apple's iPad also rose from 15.4 million to 22.9 million year on year.
The company also sold 4.1 million Mac computers and 12.7 million iPod media players in the quarter, compared to 5.2 million and 15.4 million respectively in the same period a year earlier.
Apple's earnings per share in the quarter represented a rare year-on-year drop for the company, which may indicate that its new line of products, including the iPad mini, are hurting its high profit margins.
The latest earnings report is one of the most anticipated for Apple in years, as there has been rising concerns that the company 's popular products such as iPhone are losing ground to competitors and that its growth has passed the zenith.
Investors' sentiment has dragged Apple's stock down by nearly 30 percent from its peak of over 700 dollars in September 2012.
Apple shares dropped more than 6 percent on Wednesday in after- hours trading after the company released its earnings report.