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Apple Q2 profits jump 72 per cent

Margins, earnings, revenue all up and be decent amounts

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Apple yesterday announced a near doubling in its second quarter profits, jumping from $135 million last year to $233 million this time round. That said, Apple once again padded out its results with an exceptional item - if something that's been a consistent feature of the company's last half-dozen or so quarters can be called a 'one-off' - sale of $73 million worth of ARM shares (1.5 million of them). That takes the profit made actually selling goods and services - Apple's business, after all - $160 million. Apple ended the quarter with 9.4 million ARM shares, so this is a revenue stream the company can mine for some time to come. But allowing for the $42 million worth of ARM shares Apple flogged off during Q2 1999, that still leaves Apple's profit up some 72 per cent on the previous year's quarter. Earnings are 128 cents per share before the ARM sale, 88 cents a share afterwards, both higher than First Call's Wall Street consensus of 81 cents per share. During Q1 2000, Apple made profits of $178 million, after exceptional items, so the traditional post-Christmas weaker sales period hasn't been that weak - the fall is just 11 per cent. Revenues for the quarter reached $1.94 billion, an increase of 27 per cent on the same period last year. Gross margins were 28.2 per cent, up from 26.3 per cent. During the three-month period, Apple shifted some 1.043 million units, of which 43 per cent were professional Power Mac and PowerBooks and the rest the consumer-oriented iMac and iBook lines. By territory, sales were up 16 per cent in the Americas, 56 per cent in Europe, 13 per cent in Asia Pacific and 12 per cent in Japan. Speaking at an analysts conference, CFO Fred Anderson said the company is looking for continued growth year-on-year throughout the rest of 2000. Operating expenses are expected to rise during the current, third quarter, but that should be balanced by further margin growth, he said. He also pointed out that the company made investments of $224 million during the quarter, much of which was due to its deal with ISP EarthLink. Anderson said that the EarthLink tie-in should now net upwards of $35 million for the full fiscal year rather than the $25 million originally foreseen. "Apple finished the quarter with $3.6 billion in cash and short-term investments," Anderson added. ®

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