By Jessica Shambora
October 20, 2009

“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? So this is what we’ve chosen to do with our life. We could be sitting in a monastery somewhere in Japan. We could be out sailing. Some of the [executive team] could be playing golf. They could be running other companies. And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it. And we think it is.”

— Apple

CEO Steve Jobs said this to Fortune‘s Betsy Morris last year but his words resonate now more than ever. Today, Apple reported its most profitable quarter in history, earning $1.82 a share on revenue of $9.87 billion for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2009. The results far exceeded expectations and sent shares soaring, up from the closing price of $189.86 to $202.87 by 5:41 p.m. — an all-time high. “We are thrilled to have sold more Macs and iPhones than in any previous quarter,” Jobs said in a prepared statement. While the monastery, sailing and golf are all interesting options, can there be any doubt that Jobs made the right choice? –Jessica Shambora

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