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.