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Apple Sales Soar 64%, Net Nearly Doubles

Cupertino, Calif. — Sales of iPod music players during the past holiday selling period boosted fiscal first-quarter revenue at Apple Computer 64 percent, climbing to $5.7 billion, up from $3.5 billion in the same three months in 2004.

Net income nearly doubled for the quarter ended Dec. 31 — when Apple shipped 14 million iPods — coming in at $565 million, a 92 percent rise over the $295 million posted in the first quarter a year earlier. Gross margin in the quarter was 27.2 percent, down from 28.5 percent.

“We are thrilled to report the best quarter in Apple’s history,” said CEO Steve Jobs. “Two highlights of an incredible quarter were selling 14 million iPods and getting ready to launch our new Macs with Intel processors five to six months ahead of expectations.”

However, Apple’s forecast of $4.3 billion in expected sales during its current fiscal second quarter did not live up to Wall Street expectations, with the company’s stock falling as much as 7 percent in after-hours trading in reaction to this news.

This lower-than-expected outlook, said Apple, was due a “slight pause” the company experienced in shifting to Intel processors in the first quarter, beginning with the Intel-based iMac, which cost it some holiday-quarter sales, said Apple.

The 14 million iPods sold in the first quarter accounted for $2.9 billion in revenue, a 140 percent increase over the $1.2 billion reported year-on-year. Shipments of iPods in the year-ago quarter reached 4.6 million.

Portables shipped in the first three months hit 587,000, a 39 percent unit increase over the 423,000 shipped in the same period the previous year. Revenue for portables, which include the iBook and PowerBook product lines, rose to $812 million, a 34 percent jump over the $604 million reported 12 months earlier.

Desktops, which include the iMac, eMac, Mac mini, Power Mac and Xserve product lines, enjoyed a 7 percent increase in unit shipments in the first quarter, rising to 667,000, compared with 623,000 in the same quarter in 2004. Revenue for desktops, however, dropped 9 percent in the first quarter, down to $912 million, from a year-ago $1 billion.

Apple sold 1.25 million Macintosh computers in the first quarter, a 20 percent unit increase over the 1.05 million shipped in the first quarter the previous year.

The Americas posted an 8 percent rise in CPU units shipped in the first quarter, climbing to 515,000, up from a year-earlier 476,000. Revenue for CPUs shipped in the Americas during the first quarter rose 65 percent, to $2.7 billion, from $1.6 billion year-on-year.

The company reported sales of over $1 billion in its Apple retail stores, a first-time event. Total stores reached 135 locations, with 11 added worldwide last year. Revenue per store hit $8.3 million in the first quarter, a 41 percent increase, said Apple.