Apple reports $546 million profit

Apple on Wednesday reported results for its fiscal fourth-quarter. Posting a $546 million profit on $4.84 billion revenue, the company said the results are preliminary and may be subject to significant adjustment as a result of a likely restatement of historical results. Mac shipments were also the highest in the company's history, according to Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer.

These results compare to revenue of $3.68 billion and net profit of $430 million, or $.50 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. According to Apple, international sales accounted for 40 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

Apple's earnings per share and revenue numbers solidly beat estimates by analysts polled by Thomson Financial, which predicted the company would earn $0.51 per share for the quarter on revenue of $4.62 billion.

Apple shipped 1,610,000 Macs and 8,729,000 iPods during the quarter, representing 30 percent growth in Macs and 35 percent growth in iPods over the year-ago quarter.

“This strong quarter caps an extraordinary year for Apple. Selling more than 39 million iPods and 5.3 million Macs while performing an incredibly complex architecture transition is something we are all very proud of,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Looking forward, 2007 is likely to be one of the most exciting new product years in Apple’s history.”

Apple's Oppenheimer said the company finished the year with over $10 billion in cash and have increased annual revenue by $11 billion in the last two years. Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2007, Oppenheimer said he expects revenue of $6.0 to $6.2 billion and earnings per diluted share of $.70 to $.73.

The restatement in Apple’s earnings will come as a result of stock irregularities the company found earlier this year.

Apple first uncovered stock option irregularities in June, 2006 — one of many companies during the same time period that was involved in irregular stock option offerings. The company backdated stock option grants to senior executives. Shortly thereafter the company was sued by stockholders. The company delayed filing required financial reports with the U.S. Security & Exchange Commission and ultimately requested a hearing with the NASDAQ stock exchange Listing Qualifications Panel to address the issue. Analysts doubted at the time that the investigation would have much of an impact on Apple’s upcoming product release schedule.

Apple stock closed up $0.24 or .32 percent at $74.53. The stock is up $2.51 or 3.37 percent in after hours trading to $77.04.

Update: Added more detailed information on Apple's results.

Update: Added analysts expectations for the quarter.

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