Apple's latest quarterly report offers a mixed bag: On the negative side, the results confirm that the iPhone maker's growth has stalled along with its pace of innovation. But on the bright side, sales of those iPhones were better than expected and helped the company beat analyst estimates. The results announced today mark the second straight quarter that Apple's earnings have fallen from the previous year after a decade of steadily rising profits. The company earned $6.9 billion, or $7.47 per share, in its fiscal third quarter, a 22% drop from $8.8 billion, or $9.32 per share.
Despite the erosion, Apple fared slightly better than analysts had anticipated. That helped lift Apple's stock by $22.01, or more than 5%, to $441 in extended trading after the financial results came out. The shares remain down by more than 35% since the latest model of the iPhone came out 10 months ago. Revenue totaled $35.3 billion versus $35 billion a year ago. As usual, Apple was propelled by its iPhone sales. The company sold 31.2 million units in the quarter, a 20% increase from the same time year ago. But many people were evidently buying the earlier generations of the smartphone, which cost less than the latest model and generate smaller profit margins for the company. (Read more Apple stories.)