Apple Q4 revenue soars on strong Mac shipments

Fourth-quarter shipments of Apple Computer Inc.'s Power Mac and PowerBook units increased sharply over last year's fourth quarter, driving the company to higher revenue and positive net income in the quarter, it said today.

Revenue for the period ended Sept. 27 was $1.72 billion, up 19% from last year's fourth quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had predicted revenue of $1.66 billion.

The Cupertino, Calif., company posted fourth-quarter net profit of $44 million, up from last year's fourth-quarter net loss of $45 million.

Net income would have been $29 million without one-time gains on investments and accounting adjustments, which translates to earnings per share of 8 cents, slightly above Thomson First Call expectations of earnings of 7 cents per share.

For the full year, Apple took in revenue of $6.21 billion, up from revenue of $5.74 billion in 2002. Net income for 2003 was $69 million, up from net income of $65 million last year.

Apple shipped 787,000 units of the company's flagship Macintosh computer, up 7% from shipments of 734,000 units in the fourth quarter of last year. That figure includes shipments of the iMac, iBook, Power Mac, and PowerBook computers.

PowerBook shipments jumped from 58,000 units in the fourth quarter last year to 176,000 units in this year's fourth quarter. Apple has released new versions of its PowerBooks with several different display sizes since last year's fourth quarter. Power Mac sales also saw strong increases, with shipments up 26% from last year's fourth quarter to 221,000 units in this year's fourth quarter.

The launch of Apple's G5 Power Mac has prompted the beginnings of an upgrade cycle among Apple's professional customers, said Fred Anderson, Apple's chief financial officer, on a conference call following Apple's announcement.

The iPod MP3 player is also gaining in popularity. Apple shipped 336,000 units in the fourth quarter, more than double the 140,000 units shipped in last year's fourth quarter.

For the first fiscal quarter of 2004, Apple expects to post revenue of $1.9 billion, Anderson said.

Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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