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Apple beats Q4 estimates, looks to IBM for G4s

Apple beats Q4 estimates, looks to IBM for G4s

Apple Computer this week reported fourth-quarter earnings of $US90 million, or 51 cents per diluted share, before non-recurring items, and announced a deal with IBM to help it overcome a shortage of processors for its new G4 PowerMac computers.

Apple's earnings are down from $106 million, or 63 cents per diluted share, in the same period last year. However, the computer maker beat the consensus estimate of financial analysts, who expected it to profit by 45 cents per share, according to First Call.

The results exclude a $21 million favourable impact from non-recurring items. Including those figures, Apple reported income of $111 million in the quarter, or 63 cents per diluted share. Revenues were $1.34 billion, down 14 per cent from a year ago, Apple said.

Apple also said it will hold off on releasing its PowerMac G4 with a 500MHz processor until the first quarter of next year. Its PowerMac G4 line-up, which was introduced in August, will now include versions with 350MHz, 400MHz and 450MHz processors, priced at $US1599, $2499 and $3499, respectively.

Apple said last month that Motorola, which is manufacturing the G4, had run into production difficulties and was unable to keep up with demand for the chips. At the same time, it warned that the shortage would cut into its earnings for the quarter just completed.

To help address the G4 problem, Apple said this week that IBM will begin manufacturing the chips in the first half of 2000, giving Apple two suppliers.

"We are delighted by the response to our new products; we have received orders for over 250,000 new iMacs in the first week since its announcement, and over 300,000 iBooks since its announcement in late July," Steve Jobs, Apple's interim chief executive officer, said in a statement. "We are geared up to ship all of our products in high volume this quarter."

For the fiscal year, which ended on September 25, Apple generated revenues of $6.1 billion and net earnings of $601 million, or $3.61 per diluted share. These results compare to fiscal 1998 revenues of $5.9 billion and net earnings of $309 million, or $2.10 per diluted share, Apple said.


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