Apple Posts $63 Million First Quarter Profit — Apple Computer posted a $63 million profit on just over $2 billion in revenue for its first fiscal quarter of 2004, boosted by strong sales of laptop computers and increasingly obligatory iPod digital music players. Apple’s gross margin was 26.7 percent, with international sales accounting for 44 percent of the quarter’s revenue (although the strong Euro boosted Apple’s sales in Europe). Apple also tucked some money away: the company now has just under $4.8 billion in the bank.
Apple says it shipped 829,000 Macs and 730,000 iPods during the quarter – and could have sold more iPods if it had been able to keep up with demand. More than 200,000 of the Macs sold were iBooks and 195,000 were PowerBook G4 systems. Both figures are substantially higher than totals for a year ago and lend some credence to CEO Steve Jobs’s claim that 2003 would be "the year of the laptop." Sales of other lines – eMac/iMac and Power Mac – weren’t as strong as in the third quarter, although the introduction of Power Mac G5 systems let the high-end systems show a year-to-year gain, where iMac and eMac sales declined both year-to-year and quarter-to-quarter. [GD]