Apple not only announced record profits for Q4 results and smashed through its own revenue guidance, but out-performed even the most bullish of analyst estimates with earnings of $42.123B. The highest analyst estimate in yesterday’s Fortune roundup was for $41.8B.

The consensus analyst expectation for earnings per share was $1.32, against the actual 20% climb to $1.42, aided by Apple’s stock buyback program, which now totals $68B of the $90B target announced by Apple … 

iPhone sales were 39.272M against analyst consensus of 37.89m, Mac 5.52M against estimates of 4.83M and iPod 2.62M versus expectations of 2.32M.

iPad was the only disappointment, falling further than analysts had expected, at 12.316M against estimates of 13.17M.

Analysts responded in upbeat fashion, in an early Fortune roundup.

Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty said that there was still “considerable pent-up demand” for upgrades from the iPhone 4S and older models, and that Apple Pay may drive further iPhone 6 demand.

BTIG’s Walter Piecyk noted the boost in average selling price (likely driven by buyers opting for the improved 64GB middle tiers, as well as by the iPhone 6 Plus), and said that “the strength in iPhone and Macs more than offset the stagnation in iPads.”

RBC’s Amit Daryanani noted the consistently good news on profit margins: “AAPL has seen gross-margins at or above the high-end of their guide for 6-quarters in a row.”

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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