What happened

Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) surged as much as 5.8% on Wednesday, following the tech giant's better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter earnings release. At the time of this writing, shares are up 5.3%.

Revenue, earnings per share, and revenue guidance were significantly higher than consensus analyst estimates for the key metrics, propelling shares higher.

AirPods lying on an iPhone

Image source: Apple.

So what

Apple reported earnings per share of $2.34 on revenue of $53.3 billion. On average, analysts were expecting EPS of $2.18 and revenue of $52.3 billion. The latter metric was also notably at the high end of Apple's guidance, for revenue between $51.5 billion and $53.5 billion.

Apple's revenue and EPS were up 17% and 40% year over year, respectively. This marked Apple's sixth quarter in a row of accelerating revenue growth since the company returned to growth in the first fiscal quarter of 2017.

Apple's strong revenue growth during the quarter was driven by a 20% year-over-year increase in iPhone revenue, 31% higher services revenue, and 37% growth in "other products" revenue.

Now what

Looking ahead, Apple's guidance for fourth-quarter revenue of $60 billion to $62 billion was significantly higher than a consensus analyst estimate for revenue of $59.6 billion during the quarter. This guidance implies 16% year-over-year revenue growth, highlighting that management expects the company's strong momentum to persist.

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.