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Apple board backs Jobs against ex-CFO allegations shock

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Apple's Board of Directors is backing CEO Steve Jobs after former CFO Fred Anderson accused Jobs approving the company's stock option backdating. Anderson settled civil charges against him Tuesday without admitting any guilt, but agreeing to pay back approximately $3.5m to make up for personal gains in the scandal.

Anderson's lawyer said Tuesday that his client had warned Jobs about the grant dating, but was assured by the CEO that the board had given prior approval.

“We are not going to enter into a public debate with Fred Anderson or his lawyer. Steve Jobs cooperated fully with Apple’s independent investigation and with the government’s investigation of stock option grants at Apple,” reads the statement from Apple Board Members Bill Campbell, Millard Drexler, Al Gore, Arthur Levinson, Eric Schmidt and Jerry York.

Despite Leopard delays, the iPhone still being two months away and a stock options backdating scandal, Apple continues to ride high. The company's second quarter profit surged 88 per cent on the back of strong Macbook sales.

Meanwhile, Apple listed today its second quarter profit was $770m on revenue of $5.26bn, during the quarter ending March 31 — sharp increase from $410m in profit from $4.36bn in revenue last year.

The company shipped 10,549,000 iPods and 1,517,000 computers (626,000 desktops and 891,000 laptops) during the quarter. Computer sales were only down 6 per cent from Q1 which includes the holiday season, but iPods suffered a 50 per cent drop from that quarter.

Looking quarter-on-quarter, Apple's laptop sales rose 79 per cent from 498,000 units shipped, despite the company spending precious little time talking up its Macbook line.

Desktop sales rose as well - 2 per cent - from 614,000, while iPod sales were way up from 8,526,000.

Peripherals and miscellaneous hardware sales totaled $309m. Software and services made Apple $345m. iTunes and related products and services banked the company $653m.

“We are very pleased to report the most profitable March quarter in Apple’s history,” Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said. “Looking ahead to the third fiscal quarter of 2007, we expect revenue of about $5.1 billion and earnings per diluted share of about $.66.”

Shares of Apple's surged 8 per cent in the after-hours market, hitting an all-time high of $102. ®

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