Although Steve Jobs's keynote address at San Francisco's Macworld Expo didn't include much of his trademark showmanship - or news on Apple's ongoing search for a new CEO - he did end the presentation with a surprise: Apple expects to post a quarterly profit of $45 million on a total revenue of $1.575 billion. Rather than being the result of creative number-juggling, Apple's statement claims the income represents a true operational profit, based in part on strong sales of new Power Macintosh G3 systems (more than 130,000 units during 1997) and retail sales through CompUSA, which is setting up Mac-specific areas in its outlets. Apple also credited its new online store and build-to-order manufacturing capabilities. Opinion is mixed on whether Apple can sustain profitability during 1998; however, posting a profit now certainly gives Apple partners, shareholders, and customers a much-needed morale boost.
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