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Apple Earnings Steadies Stock

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Apple's announcement on a holiday Monday that CEO Steve Jobs is going out on medical leave makes a little more sense at the end of a business day Tuesday that included a quarter-end call that blew the doors off of analyst estimates.

The company announced its quarterly earnings Tuesday and knocked all numbers out of the park when it comes to sales and just might have knocked the story of Jobs health from both the headlines and stockholders worries.

Here are the numbers: New income jumped to $6 billion, or $6.43 per share, up from $3.4 billion, or $3.67 per share. Revenue jumped 71 percent to $26.7 billion.

It looks like they might be high enough to overshadow this week's leave of absence announcement. Apple's stock jumped in after-hour trading.

The results mean even more iPads were under Christmas trees than analysts predicted. Apple said it sold more than 7 million iPads, and that is a million more than expected. It sold 16 million iPhones and that is an 86 percent increase from a year ago and before Apple announced its deal with Verizon.

During the call, the man who is taking over the day to day operations from Jobs, COO Tim Cook, admitted one product is in the "too much of a good thing" category.  He said there is still a "significant backlog" when it comes to the iPhone4, which means Apple can't make them as fast as they can sell them.

And although he wasn't on the call, Steve Jobs also made his mark Tuesday.

Jobs issued a statement that said in part, "We had a phenomenal holiday quarter with record Mac, iPhone and iPad sales. We are firing on all cylinders and we’ve got some exciting things in the pipeline for this year including iPhone 4 on Verizon which customers can’t wait to get their hands on."

Also Tuesday, the Associated Press put out a time line of Jobs health issues that date back to August 2004.

  • August 2004: Apple CEO Steve Jobs discloses that he had been diagnosed with, and cured of, through surgery a rare form of pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook takes over Jobs' duties while he recuperates.
  •  Oct. 14, 2004: In his first public appearance since undergoing surgery, Jobs, then 49, attends a news conference to unveil a new Apple store at a shopping mall near Palo Alto, Calif.
  • June 12, 2005: Jobs tells Stanford University graduates that his bout with cancer underscored the need to live each day to the fullest.
  • July 21, 2008: Speculation mounts that Jobs is ill, given recent weight loss. During Apple's earnings conference call, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer says Jobs has no plans to leave the company and his ``health is a private matter.''
  • Sept. 9, 2008: Jobs kicks off an Apple event with a projected slide that says, ``The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.'' He's making a play off a famous Mark Twain quote after Bloomberg accidentally publishes, then retracts, an obituary it has prepared in advance for Jobs.
  • Dec. 16, 2008: Apple says Jobs won't be giving the keynote presentation that's usually the highlight of the annual Macworld trade show in January.
  • Jan. 5, 2009: Jobs explains what is now severe weight loss by saying he has a treatable hormone imbalance. He says he will continue to run the company.
  • Jan. 14, 2009: Jobs backtracks and announces he will be on medical leave until June, saying his health problems were "more complex'' than he had thought. COO Tim Cook takes over daily duties.June 23, 2009: A doctor at Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in Memphis says Jobs received a liver transplant and has an ``excellent prognosis.'' Apple does not issue a statement about the transplant.
  • June 2009: Jobs returns to work.
  • Sept. 9, 2009: Jobs presides over an Apple event for the first time since the nearly six-month-long medical leave. He gets a standing ovation. Looking thin and speaking quietly, he tells the audience he had received the liver of a young adult who died in a car accident, and urges everyone to become organ donors.
  •  January through October 2010: Jobs serves as master of ceremonies at several Apple gadget launches, including the unveiling of the much-anticipated iPad. He is still very thin, but public speculation is overshadowed by buzz around the new product.
  •  March 12, 2010: Apple gives Cook $5 million bonus plus stock for ``outstanding performance'' running the company while Jobs was on leave.
  • Jan. 17, 2011: In a memo to Apple employees, Jobs announces a second medical leave with no set duration. Cook will fill in again to run day-to-day operations. Jobs said he will continue as CEO and will be involved in major decisions.

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