Apple defies gravity: Quarterly profit rises 31%


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Apple today reported a 38% jump in revenue and a 31% gain in profit in its fiscal third quarter, mostly due to the strength in sales of its Macintosh line of computers.

For the quarter ended June 30, Apple said it had revenue of $7.5 billion, compared with $5.4 billion in the same quarter last year. Profit was $1.1 billion, or $1.19 a share, compared with $818 million, or 92 cents, last year. International sales accounted for 42% of the quarter’s revenue, Apple said.


Apple said it shipped 2.5 million Macintosh computers, up 41% from a year earlier. And the company saw a 12% jump in iPod sales, selling 11 million in the quarter. It sold 717,000 iPhones in the quarter, compared with 270,000 during the year-earlier period, which ended only two days after the iPhone first went on sale.

‘We’re proud to report the best June quarter for both revenue and earnings in Apple’s history,’ Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said. ‘We set a new record for Mac sales, we think we have a real winner with our new iPhone 3G and we’re busy finishing several more wonderful new products to launch in the coming months.’

Analysts have worried that the company would see sluggish sales ...

... as the economy struggles. But Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., beat Wall Street expectations. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected the company to post earnings of $1.08 a share and revenue of $7.4 billion.

Apple’s shares have languished in the last month, declining 6% despite the introduction of the iPhone 3G -- the latest version of the Web-surfing, media-playing and call-making device -- and reports that Mac sales remained strong.

Its stock rose $1.14, less than 1%, to $166.29 today, but were down more than 6% in after-hours trading on disappointment about the company’s financial forecast. Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said the company expected revenue of $7.8 billion and earnings per share around $1 for the current quarter.

The July 11 launch of the iPhone 3G hit some technical bumps, but Apple said it sold 1 million iPhones in the first weekend. As of Monday, there were reports that the phone was largely unavailable nationwide. And in its computer business, Apple appeared to have risen into the No. 3 position among U.S. computer sellers, trailing Dell and Hewlett-Packard. IDC said Apple was tied with Acer, and Gartner said it was alone in third.


-- Michelle Quinn