Apple beats Street 2Q forecasts: earnings: $2.33 per share, vs. expected $2.16

Apple (AAPL) posted fiscal second-quarter profits and sales Monday that handily beat Wall Street’s estimates, while also unveiling a sharp increase in its plans to return capital to shareholders.

The world’s biggest technology company posted per-share earnings of $2.33, topping estimates of $2.15. Sales of $58 billion also beat expectations of $56 billion.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple also said it shipped 61.17 million iPhones over the three-month period, topping Street views of 56 million.

Apple said its board hiked its share buyback authorization to $140 billion from $90 billion, along with an 11% increase to its quarterly dividend.

“We believe Apple has a bright future ahead, and the unprecedented size of our capital return program reflects that strong confidence,” said CEO Tim Cook.

“While most of our program will focus on buying back shares, we know that the dividend is very important to many of our investors, so we’re raising it for the third time in less than three years.”

The shares advanced by just north of 1% in extended trading.

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