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iPod Drives Apple Into The Black

Cupertino, Calif. – Apple blazed a hot trail into its fiscal New Year with healthy sales of iPod music players and PowerBook notebooks helping the company post a 36 percent jump in revenue, to $2 billion, a four-year high, compared with $1.5 billion in the first three months last year.

The iPod and PowerBook helped propel Apple into the black during its first quarter, ended Dec. 27, recording a net profit of $63 million, compared with a net loss of $8 million in the year-ago period. The quarter’s results include an after-tax gain of $3 million, while gross margin remained fairly constant, down to 26.7, from 27.6 in the same period a year earlier.

In the quarter, iPod revenue soared 216 percent, hitting $256 million, up from $81 million in the same three months a year ago. Unit movement jumped 235 percent, to 733,000, up from 219,000 year-on-year. PowerBook revenue reached $399 million in the first quarter, a 70 percent increase over the $235 million posted last year in the same quarter. PowerBook unit movement increased 93 percent, to 195,000 in the first quarter, compared with 101,000 year-over-year.

‘It was an outstanding quarter for Apple,’ said CEO Steve Jobs, ‘with double-digit unit and revenue growth.’ Total Macintosh revenue in the first quarter hit $1.3 billion, a 15 percent increase over the $1.1 billion recorded in the same period last year. Macintosh unit sales reached 829,000 during the quarter, a 12 percent rise over the 743,000 units shipped in the same period in 2002.

Revenue in the Americas climbed 25 percent in the first three months, to $924 million, up from $738 million year-on-year, a 25 percent increase. However, unit shipments in the Americas were flat in the quarter, at about 378,000. International sales accounted for 44 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

Looking ahead to the second three months, Apple anticipates its third consecutive quarter of year-over-year double-digit growth in both revenue and earnings, with revenue hitting about $1.8 billion.