Apple reports $44 million profit for the fourth quarter

Apple Computer Inc. on Wednesday reported a profit of US$44 million or $0.12 per share for the company's fourth fiscal quarter, ended September 27, 2003. This compares to a net loss of $45 million, or $.13 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

"It was a great new product quarter for Apple," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs, in a statement. "We launched the Power Mac G5, the fastest personal computer in the world, new PowerBooks and new iPods. Plus, we're delivering Panther, the next major release of Mac OS X, later this month and we'll have some exciting news regarding our music efforts tomorrow."

Revenues for the quarter were $1.715 billion, up 19 percent from the year-ago quarter, and gross margins were 26.6 percent, up from 26.4 percent in the year-ago quarter. Apple said international sales accounted for 38 percent of the company's quarter's revenues.

For the year, Apple reported net income of $69 million on revenues of $6.21 billion compared to net income of $65 million on revenues of $5.74 billion in 2002.

"We are very pleased to have exceeded our revenue and profit targets for the fourth quarter," said Fred Anderson, Apple's CFO. "Our balance sheet remains strong and our working capital management is among the best in the industry."

For the first quarter of 2004, Anderson said he expects a sequential increase in revenues to about $1.9 billion and a slight sequential increase in GAAP earnings relative to the September quarter.

Analysts polled by Thomson/First Call expected Apple to report between $0.06 and $0.08 per share, with a 0.07 average for the company's fourth quarter.

Apple stock closed up $0.27 at $24.82 and continues to rise in after hours trading where it is up to $24.97, up $0.15.

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