The share price of Apple was up strongly last night (April 23rd) in after-hours trading in the US following the release of the technology company's latest financial results.
After Apple announced profits of $10.2 billion (£6.1 billion) for the first three months of the year, investors responded positively and stocks in the firm rose sharply.
Apple also revealed in a statement that it sold 43.7 million iPhones during the quarter, with the smartphone continuing to be the flagship device offered by the company.
Chief executive of Apple Tim Cook stated that sales of the iPhone have remained "strong" and he added the firm is proud of its start to the new year.
Apple announced it is going to buy an additional $30 billion of its stock back from shareholders in the coming months, while the firm will also increase its quarterly dividend by eight per cent.
"We are announcing a significant increase to our capital return programme," said Mr Cook. "We're confident in Apple's future and see tremendous value in Apple's stock, so we're continuing to allocate the majority of our programme to share repurchases. We're also happy to be increasing our dividend for the second time in less than two years."
This confidence must have rubbed off on investors, as although the share price of the technology company was down by 1.31 per cent on the Nasdaq yesterday, it saw a sharp rebound in its stocks in after-hours trading in the US last night.
Shares rose by eight per cent, indicating investors are as convinced as Mr Cook of Apple's continued place at the top of the technology sector.
Apple's future was thrown into doubt by the death of its visionary inventor Steve Jobs in October 2011, but Mr Cook has successfully kept the company on an even keel since taking over as the chief executive of the business.
A dividend of $3.29 per common share will be handed over to shareholders and this will be payable on May 15th to shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 12th 2014.
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