Apple chalks up $123 million Q1 profit
High holiday iMac sales fuel strong growth
Apple has posted its fifth consecutive profitable quarter, as promised by interim CEO Steve Jobs at last week's MacWorld Expo keynote. As anticipated (see Apple set to announce $1.7 billion Q1 revenue), the Mac maker recorded first quarter of fiscal 1999 revenues of $1.7 billion, up eight per cent on the same period a year ago. Profits were higher than expected, reaching $152 million -- 95c a share. For Q1 1998, Apple recorded a profit of just $47 million. However, the latest figure includes $29 million made by offloading some 2.9 million of the shares Apple holds in ARM. Take that out of the equation, and Apple made $123 million -- at 78c a share, that's rather closer to the 70c a share Wall Street was expecting the company to declare. Apple also reported that it sold 519,000 iMacs during the quarter, a significant proportion of the 800,000-odd it shipped since the consumer computer was launched on 15 August. Clearly the company's Christmas extended advertising campaign and $29.99/£29.99-a-month iMac hire purchase scheme have paid off. So too has Jobs' policy of keeping inventory to a bare minimum. The company reported the quarter saw inventory drop to $25 million, or two days' worth of kit. That's five days' fewer machines than Dell's previously industry-leading five days inventory, claimed Jobs. The iMac sales contributed heavily to a year-on-year growth in unit shipments of 49 per cent, which Apple claimed was three to four times the industry average. ®
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