With its second-quarter earnings release, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) squashed any concerns about its ability to continue growing its business. The tech giant's already-robust revenue growth rate accelerated yet again in its second quarter. It also posted a strong 30% year-over-year increase in its earnings per share.

As investors digest the implications of Apple's latest quarterly results, here's an overview of some of the most important items from the report.

Apple CEO Tim Cook shakes hands with fans at an Apple store the day of the iPhone 8 launch

Apple CEO Tim Cook. Image source: Apple.

Apple second-quarter earnings: The raw numbers

Metric

Q2 2018

Q2 2017

Change

Revenue

$61.1 billion

$52.9 billion

16%

Earnings per share

$2.73

$2.10

30%

Gross profit margin

38.3%

38.9%

(60 basis points)

Data source: Apple's fiscal second-quarter consolidated financial statements. Table by author.

For the fiscal second quarter, the company reported revenue and earnings per share of $61.1 billion and $2.73, respectively. These results are up 16% and 30% from a year ago. Revenue for the period was slightly above the midpoint of management's guidance for between $60 billion and $62 billion. 

The results marked a significant acceleration compared to its fiscal first quarter, when revenue and earnings per share increased 13% and 16%, respectively, year over year. Furthermore, this extended the company's streak of consecutive quarters of accelerating year-over-year revenue growth since it returned to growth in the first fiscal quarter of 2017.

A line chart showing Apple's accelerating revenue growth rates

Data source: Apple's second-quarter consolidated financial statements and quarterly SEC filings for quarters shown. Fiscal quarters shown. Chart by author.

Segment results

Product Segment

Q2 2018 Revenue

Q2 2017 Revenue

Change

iPhone

$38.0 billion

$33.2 billion

14%

iPad

$4.1 billion

$3.9 billion

6%

Mac

$5.9 billion

$5.8 billion

0%

Services

$9.2 billion

$7.0 billion

31%

Other products

$4.0 billion

$2.9 billion

38%

Data source: Apple's second-quarter operating data. Table by author.

The iPhone was the primary driver for Apple's revenue growth during the period, adding $4.8 billion of incremental revenue to the company's top line compared to the year-ago quarter. The iPhone X, in particular, was a high performer. "Customers chose iPhone X more than any other iPhone each week in the March quarter, just as they did following its launch in the December quarter," said Apple CEO Tim Cook in the second-quarter press release. 

But Apple's services and other products segments notably maintained their strong momentum. Revenue there climbed 31% and 38% year over year, respectively.

Apple's updated capital return program

With its $210 billion share repurchase program nearly exhausted and its dividend due for an annual increase, Apple was widely expected to approve a bigger buyback authorization and increase its dividend alongside its second-quarter earnings release.

The company did exactly this. "Given our confidence in Apple's future, we are very happy to announce that our Board has approved a new $100 billion share repurchase authorization and a 16 percent increase in our quarterly dividend," said CFO Luca Maestri.

Looking ahead

Management remains optimistic about Apple's ability to keep up its rapid growth. It guided for fiscal third-quarter revenue to increase to between $51.5 billion and $53.5 billion, up from $45.4 billion in the year-ago quarter. Based on the midpoint of this range, revenue is anticipated to rise about 16% year over year -- in line with the 16% revenue growth in its second quarter.

The forecast for fiscal third-quarter gross margin is for between 38% and 38.5%. This compares to a gross margin of 38.5% in Apple's third quarter of fiscal 2017.

Daniel Sparks owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple and short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.