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Apple Beats Second Quarter Estimates But Offers Weak Guidance

Apple has good news and bad news for investors. The company pleasantly surprised the Street with its second quarter results by beating analyst estimates for both revenue and iPhone sales. However, third-quarter guidance suggests a letdown is ahead as the company prepares an iPhone 5 successor. Nevertheless, Apple shares were up 4 percent shortly after it announced results.

Apple earned $43.6 billion in revenue and $9.5 billion in profit, nowhere near the record $54.5 million in the first quarter but still higher than the $42.3 billion projected by Thomson Reuters. Meanwhile, Apple moved 37.4 million iPhones, higher than the projected 35 million units and the 35.1 million from the year-ago period. In the first quarter Apple sold a much higher 47.8 million iPhones.

MORE: 7 Things Apple Must Do in 2013

So what about iPads? Apple sold 19.5 million tablets, not far behind the 22.9 million sold in the first quarter. This time last year Apple sold 11.8 million iPads, but that was before the introduction of the cheaper iPad mini. Mac sales came in at 3.95 million, which is slightly below both the second quarter of last year (4 million) and first quarter of 2013 (4.1 million). So while iPads might be canniablizing Mac sales, they don't seem to be making a huge dent.

Investors likely aren't thrilled with Apple's guidance for the third quarter, as the company expects revenue to be in the range of $33.5 to $35.5 billion. According to The Wall Street Journal, this means that Apple says revenue could fall from the year-ago period ($34.96 billion) for the first time since 2003.

Overall, Apple's stock has taken a beating in recent months due to worries over slumping iPhone demand, a perceived lack of innovation from the brand and a lack of exciting new products. Rumors of a possible iWatch still abound, but it's not clear whether such a device would launch this year and would impact it might have. An Apple-made television seems even further out based on various reports.

For 2013, it really comes down to what sort of answer Apple will have for the Samsung Galaxy S4, which will likely be the hottest selling smartphone for months to come.