The world's biggest stock outdid itself yesterday. Apple announced its earnings per share at $2.73 versus the analysts' expectations of $2.67. The company's net income for the first quarter was $13.82 billion, up from $11.03 billion a year ago.
Apple has often faced low expectations and managed to surpass them. Apple's earnings-per-share results have now beaten the Wall Street consensus in 20 of the past 21 quarters.
But the ploy worked: Apple's stock price rose as much 5 percent after hours, as investors digested the company's better-than-expected outlook. The company also announced a plan to return $100 billion to shareholders in a massive stock buyback.