After the close of trading on Wall Street this afternoon, Apple will report earnings for the company's fourth fiscal quarter of 2014.

Ahead of the earnings call, shares of AAPL are trading to the upside as investors and Wall Street analysts are largely optimistic about the forthcoming numbers.

As of this writing, net income of $1.31 a share is the consensus of analysts contacted and surveyed by Reuters.

On the revenue side of the equation, $39.84 billion is forecast vs. $37.5 billion in the same quarter one year ago. As MMi reported in July, in the last earnings call, Apple expressed its revenue forecast of $37 billion - $40 billion for Q4 of 2014.

The most critically important number expected today pertains to Apple's new iPhone 6 devices. Although the sales data will only include devices sold through the end of September (only two full weeks of iPhone 6/6 Plus sales), strong numbers will provide enormous direction as to the kinds of sales Apple may enjoy over the 2014 holiday shopping season, which formally kicks off next month.

MMi will bring you complete coverage of today's earnings after the numbers are out.