Apple forecasts a ‘slight profit’ for this quarter

By May Wong, The Associated Press
Wednesday July 17, 2002

SAN JOSE — Apple Computer Inc. reported third-quarter results Tuesday that were in line with revised Wall Street expectations but did little to buoy the sagging personal computer industry. 

For its quarter ended June 29, the Cupertino-based computer maker said it earned $32 million, or 9 cents a share, on revenue of $1.43 billion. In the year-ago period, Apple earned $61 million, or 17 cents a share, on revenue of $1.47 billion. 

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call expected earnings of 9 cents a share on revenues of about $1.42 billion. 

The PC market has been “very weak,” said chief financial officer Fred Anderson, who expects for the fourth quarter a “slight profit” and revenues that will be about the same as the third quarter. 

Last month, Apple warned of soft demand and said third-quarter revenues would range between $1.4 billion and $1.45 billion, down some 10 percent from its previous forecast of about $1.6 billion. 

Apple shipped 808,000 Macintosh computers during the third quarter, down 2 percent from the year-ago quarter, the company said. 

The overall personal computer industry is struggling with the economic slowdown. 

Some analysts don’t expect a turnaround in the PC market until late 2003, while the market research firm International Data Corp. forecasts a slight, 2.5 percent increase of PC shipments in the United States this year. 

Industry observers expect that on Wednesday, chief executive Steve Jobs will introduce at Macworld Expo New York new products that could help boost Apple’s near-term revenues. Among them: a new PowerMac computer and possibly a Windows-based version of the iPod portable music player and a larger, 17-inch flat-panel iMac. 

Apple has launched several efforts since last year to try to surpass the 5 percent share it has of the total PC market.