Apple posts $247m loss, $1bn sales as planned

New products coming, says CFO

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Apple lost $247 million in the three months to 30 December 2000, in line with the company's earlier predictions.

And CFO Fred Anderson admitted there would be further new product announcements later in the quarter, surely a reference to the anticipated iBook and iMac revisions.

However, thanks to some financial jiggery-pokery centred on the company's accounting rules, plus the sale of yet more ARM shares (and some Akamai stock this time), Apple's bean-counters were able to bring the final loss down to $195 million (58 cents a share).

Apple made a profit of $183 million (51 cents a share) during Q1 2000.

Revenue for the quarter, the first of fiscal 2001, hit $1 billion - again, spot on Apple's predictions. That represents a fall of 57 per cent on the year ago quarter's sales. Last year it recorded Q1 sales of $2.34 billion.

Apple shifted some 659,000 Macs, compared to last year's figure of 1,377,000. Margins were down 2.1 per cent year on year. Some 33 per cent of Apple's total sales came through its own online AppleStore.

CEO Steve Jobs spun the news as the end of Apple's problems - "We took our medicine last quarter," he said. Indeed, it has reduced its inventory from 11 weeks to five-and-a-half weeks. Though that still leaves plenty of unsold kit out there that needs to be shifted, largely Cubes.

Nonetheless, the company expects to return to profitability during the current quarter, with full-year revenues to reach $6 billion with a progressive increase in revenue over the next three quarters. CFO Fred Anderson said he expects to see margins nudge back over 25 per cent. The current quarter will be the weakest of the three, largely thanks to the limited supply of top-end Power Mac G4s, itself due to low yields on Motorola's PowerPC 7450 chip (aka G4 Plus). ®

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