Apple Computer beat analysts’ expectations by announcing a $66 million profit (18 cents per share) on $1.45 billion in revenue for its fourth fiscal quarter, despite the weakening U.S. and world economies and the aftermath of the 11-Sep-01 terror attacks. However, Apple cautioned that the current quarter – its first of 2002 – will be leaner, with CFO Fred Anderson estimating $1.4 billion in revenue and earnings of ten cents per share, even though December-ending quarters are typically buoyed by holiday sales. Those estimates would beat Apple’s holiday performance last year, however, when Apple lost $247 million in the holiday quarter, not counting one-time investment income. For the 2001 fiscal year, Apple lost $25 million on revenues of $5.36 billion; in 2000, Apple earned $786 million on $7.98 billion in revenue.
Apple’s fundamentals remained relatively strong: the company shipped 850,000 Macs during the quarter (including 250,000 iBooks – iBook sales to education tripled) with gross margins at 30.1 percent, and the company has over $4.3 billion in cash. Approximately 41 percent of the quarter’s revenue came from international sales, and Apple is still on track to open its planned 25 retail stores in high-visibility shopping areas by the end of 2001. Anderson also added that while Apple is trying to keep its headcount roughly flat, it doesn’t anticipate substantial layoffs.