NEW YORK (AP) — Apple shares rose in premarket trading after beating analysts' earnings expectations by shipping more iPhones in the latest quarter. The company also said that it was planning to introduce new products in the fall.

The technology giant said late Tuesday that it earned $6.9 billion, or $7.47 per share, in its fiscal third quarter. While that was a 22 percent drop from the $8.8 billion, or $9.32 per share, reported in the period a year ago, it was still better than analysts had expected.

Apple's stock rose $19.96, or 4.8 percent, to $438.95 in premarket trading. The company said that it shipped 31.2 million iPhones in its fiscal third quarter, more than most analysts had been expecting. Apple gave little detail on the new products that it would be launching later in the year.

While some analysts nudged their estimates for Apple's full-year sales and earnings higher after the results, others remained skeptical that it would be able to maintain its profit margins in the face of increasing competition in the smartphone market.

"We acknowledge that Apple's upcoming products hold some promise for investors, limiting downside, but in light of the view that smartphone sales are decelerating, we reserve our enthusiasm," wrote Citigroup analysts, including Glen Yeung in a note.

Apple's stock remains 40 percent below its all-time high of $702 reached in September. The stock has slumped on concern that Apple's pipeline of innovative products has dried up and that the market for smartphones has reached saturation point.

 

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