Apple Q2 income blows away forecast

Apple Q2 income blows away forecast

Apple Computer blew away analyst forecasts Wednesday, reporting second quarter income of US$40 million, excluding non-recurring charges, down from $233 million a year ago, with international sales accounting for nearly half of the company's business.

The income figure translates into $0.11 per diluted share, down from $0.64 per share the company posted in the second quarter of 2000.

Revenue for the quarter, which ended March 31, was $1.43 billion, down 26 per cent year-on-year, Apple said in a statement.

"Apple returned to profitability in this tough economic climate by launching several new products," Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive officer, said in the statement. They included the Titanium PowerBook G4 and Mac OS X. The company said it shipped 751,000 Macintosh computers in total during the quarter.

"We're very pleased that our results exceeded expectations in a difficult environment," echoed Fred Anderson, Apple's chief financial officer, in a conference call with press and analysts.

More than one third of Apple's sales during the quarter were made through Apple's online store, Anderson said. About 28 per cent of customers were first-time computer buyers, while 15 per cent were users who had switched from computers running Microsoft's Windows operating system, according to Apple estimates.

Looking at the results by region, the company saw the strongest sequential increase in revenue in the US and Japan.

"Although Europe continues to do well, we're starting to see some signs of softening," Anderson said.

The computer maker ended the quarter with about $4.1 billion in cash and less than $10 million worth of its own inventory, Anderson said. It now expects to generate between $3.2 billion and $3.4 billion in revenue during the second half of the fiscal year.

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