Last quarter, Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) earnings beat and cash givebacks weren't enough to overcome dour guidance. The stock closed the day down more than 20% year to date and underperforming the S&P 500 by nearly twice that.

But now Apple stock is rallying about 4% after-hours. Why? The Mac maker reported $7.47 a share in profits on $35.3 billion in revenue, soundly beating estimates. Analysts were expecting $7.32 a share and $35.01 billion, respectively, according to Yahoo! Finance.

Surprisingly strong iPhone sales offset weakness in the iPad, while Mac sales came in slightly below consensus. Here's a product-by-product look at Apple's fiscal Q3 versus the median projections compiled by Fortune:

Product
Actual
Median Projected
Last Year
Growth (YOY)

iPhones sold

31.241 million

27.00 million

26.028 million

20%

iPads sold

14.617 million

18.00 million

17.042 million

(14%)

Macs sold

3.754 million

3.85 million

4.020 million

(7%)

Sources: Fortune and Apple SEC filings.

For fiscal Q4, Apple expects between $34 billion and $37 billion in revenue. Wall Street had been modeling for $37.11 billion, according to Yahoo! Finance. The board also approved $3.05 per share in dividends, consistent with last quarter's payment.

Should investors be as excited as the after-hours action in Apple stock suggests? I'd say so. In setting a new record for fiscal Q3 iPhone sales, Apple (for now, at least) alleviates fears that existing iPhone owners would migrate to Android instead of wait for iOS 7. Do you see Apple's rally continuing into tomorrow? Are you planning to buy, sell, or short Apple stock? 

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple at the time of publication. Check out Tim's Web home and portfolio holdings, or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

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