iMac Propels Apple to $106 Million in Earnings -- Citing streamlined operations and strong unit shipments, Apple Computer has announced earnings of $106 million for the fiscal quarter ending 25-Sep-98. For the fiscal year, Apple's revenue totalled $5.9 billion, with net earnings of $309 million, marking Apple's first profitable fiscal year since 1995. Although total revenue dipped slightly from the same quarter a year ago, Apple's nest egg grew by more than $300 million to a total of $2.3 billion in cash and short-term investments. Apple's ending inventory was a lean $78 million, or approximately six days of inventory.
Apple's renewed financial health is due in part to the iMac's popularity. Apple says it shipped more than 278,000 iMacs during the product's first six weeks, making the iMac the fastest selling Mac ever. These strong sales may indicate the iMac could help expand Apple's market share: Apple grew faster than the overall computer industry last quarter. Further, while a telephone survey of almost 2,000 early iMac buyers revealed the majority of purchasers (58 percent) were previous Macintosh owners, a surprising 29.4 percent were new computer purchasers, and 12.5 percent owned Intel-based PCs. [GD]