Apple has announced its financial results for its third quarter of 2012.

The company achieved quarterly revenue of $35.0 billion and quarterly net profit of $8.8 billion, or $9.32 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $28.6 billion and net profit of $7.3 billion, or $7.79 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

The company reported a net profit of $11.6 billion on revenue of $39.2 billion for the quarter ended 31 March, 2012.

The company itself made conservative estimates for the quarter when it announced its set of financial results for the April quarter. When announcing the second quarter financial results on 24 April, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer told analysts to expect revenue of $34 billion. The company just about beat this estimate.

As suspected, there was a slow down of iPhone sales as people await the new iPhone model, expected to ship this autumn. Apple sold 26.0 million iPhones in the quarter, 28 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter, but fewer than the 35.1 million iPhones it sold in the previous quarter.

A number of analysts had expressed concerns that Apple would not meet the expectations of Wall Street when it announced its results. Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty expected iPhone sales to top 27 million for the quarter, and suggested that the Street’s estimates are not reflecting the “seasonality” of products like the iPhone and Mac.

Mizuho Securities analyst Abhey Lamba was also cautioning people to manage expectations for iPhone sales, but that didn't stop him slightly over estimating 27 million iPhone sales.

Lamba said: “Although Apple experienced strong momentum in iPad sales which should benefit from increased distribution of the new iPad, inventory build-up and lack of competition, our checks indicate that the company has started to experience slowdown ahead of the expected launch of the iPhone 5. We expect the company to ship around 27 million iPhones vs. consensus of ~29-30 million devices.”

When Apple’s results missed analyst expectations last year, also on account of a slowdown in anticipation of a new iPhone model, the stock slipped.

There was more positive news relating to the iPad. Apple sold 17.0 million iPads during the quarter, an 84 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. In the previous quarter Apple sold 11.8 million iPads. This is the most iPads the company has ever sold during a quarter. 

Apple sold 4.0 million Macs during the quarter, a two percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter, but only slightly more than the previous quarter, in which it sold 3.8 million Macs. The new Macs laptops including the MacBook Pro with Retina Display were launched at the very end of the quarter so any impact would have been minimal.

Apple also declared a cash dividend of $2.65 per share of the Company’s common stock, payable on 16 August.

Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer gave the following guidance for the next quarter, which ends in September and is still likely to lack the revenue gained by a new iPhone launch: “Looking ahead to the fourth fiscal quarter, we expect revenue of about $34 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $7.65.”