Apple Q3 net income sliced from a year ago

Apple Q3 net income sliced from a year ago

Solidifying fears of a slowing US personal computer sector, Apple Computer reported results for its third fiscal quarter Tuesday showing revenue down nearly 20 per cent from the same quarter a year ago and net income plunging by more than two-thirds.

For the quarter ended June 30, Apple reported earnings per share of $0.17 on revenue of $US1.47 billion. About 44 per cent of its income came from overseas. The company reported earnings of $0.55 per share on revenue of $1.8 billion the same quarter a year ago.

While showing a better-than-expected per share earnings, the company fell short of expectations for its net income. A consensus estimate from 17 analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call expected Apple to report earnings per share of $0.15 cents on revenue of $1.6 billion.

Net income for the quarter fell to about $61 million, Apple said, down from $200 million in the third quarter of 2000.

Apple's financial results come at the start of the semiannual Macworld Expo event, which kicked off Tuesday in New York City. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs is scheduled to address the conference in a keynote Wednesday. He is expected to announce the latest news in Apple's product line as well as additional locations for Apple retail stores.

The company launched its first retail store in McLean, Virginia, two months ago. Since then, it has added locations in 13 other major US cities, aiming for a goal of 25 stores in operation throughout the US by the start of the holiday shopping season.

Apple Chief Financial Officer Fred Anderson said earlier this year that the retail operation would break even by this fiscal year's end and turn a small profit by the second quarter of the next fiscal year. Financial impact from the retail stores did not show up in the third quarter results.

Despite new resale channels, Apple has suffered continued weakness in its line of products during the quarter. Analysts note that the iMac computer line, the new, low-priced iBook laptop and Apple's new Titanium computers did not compensate for overall weakness in the personal computer sector.

Apple also suspended production of the PowerMac G4 Cube this month due to insufficient demand.

Shares of Apple (AAPL) closed at $25.10 Tuesday, gaining nearly 5 per cent in anticipation of its earnings release.

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