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Apple Moves Into Black

10/16/2003 09:56:00 AM Eastern

Cupertino, Calif. - Back-to-school sales of PowerBook laptops and continuing popularity of iPod digital music players helped Apple Computer register a 19 percent increase in revenue for its fiscal fourth quarter, hitting $1.7 billion, up from $1.4 billion in the year-ago period.

At the same time, Apple earnings moved into the black, with fourth quarter net income coming in at $44 million, compared with a $45 million loss in the same three months in 2002. Fourth quarter results included items and an accounting adjustment totaling $15 million. Without these, net income would have been $29 million. Gross margin climbed 20 basis points, to 26.6 percent in the period, up from 26.4 percent year on year.

Apple reported shipments of 787,000 Mac computers in the fourth quarter, ended Sept. 27, a 7 percent increase over the same three months a year earlier. PowerBook unit movement jumped 203 percent, to 176,000 units in the quarter, while iPod shipments ran 140 percent ahead, quarter over quarter, reaching 336,000 units. At the same time, sales of PowerMac computers made a strong comeback in the three months, increasing to 221,000 units, a 26 percent gain year-on-year.

Apple's 65 retail locations also recorded strong fourth quarter results, with revenue reaching $193 million, and profit of $1 million, the stores' first quarter in the black.

Sales to the Americas in the fourth quarter registered a 6 percent gain in revenue, to $928 million, but a 3 percent dip in unit movement, to 453,000. International sales accounted for 38 percent of the quarter's revenue.

For the 12 months, Apple revenue increased to $6.2 billion, compared with $5.7 billion in the year-ago three months. Net income for the quarter came in at $69 million, up from $65 million a year earlier.

In the first quarter of the current fiscal year, Apple said it expects sales of about $1.9 billion and a slight sequential increase in earnings.