Apple Posts $45 Million Q4 Loss — Apple Computer last week announced a net loss of $45 million for its fourth fiscal quarter of 2002, although Apple’s net numbers for the entire fiscal year were positive, with $65 million in earnings on $5.74 billion in revenue. The fourth quarter results included several non-recurring items (including write-downs of investments); without these items, Apple would have had a net profit of $7 million for the quarter. Revenues for the quarter were $1.44 billion, and gross margins were down to 26.4 percent from 30.1 percent in the same fiscal quarter of 2001. Curiously, international sales accounted for only 35 percent of Apple’s revenue: usually, international sales contribute just under half of Apple’s revenue.
Apple said it does not expect the computer industry as a whole to improve soon, so the company does not anticipate a dramatic uptick in profits. However, Apple hopes to do well during the holiday season with consumer-oriented items like iPods, iMacs, and iBooks, and the company claims Mac OS X 10.2 is on track to have 5 million users by the end of the calendar year. Apple retail stores had 2.25 million visitors during the last quarter, and Apple as a whole remains in good financial shape with more than $4.3 billion in cash on hand, no revenue slippage, and normal levels of channel inventory. [GD]