Updated from 4:50 p.m. ET
finally had revenge, of a sort, reporting after the bell that the company's first-quarter loss was narrower than analysts were expecting.
Apple, which shipped 659,000 Macintosh computers during the quarter, also forecast fiscal 2001 revenue of about $6 billion, just slightly below analysts' estimates of $6.01 billion. The company reported revenue of $7.98 billion for fiscal 2000.
Shares of Apple rose to $17.56 in after-hours
activity after ending the regular
trading session at $16.81. The shares have been battered during the last year, and remain well off the 52-week high of $75.19.
The Cupertino, Calif., PC maker, which has bombarded Wall Street with bad news during the last few months, lost 61 cents a share for the period, the first time the company has lost money since the fourth quarter of 1997. The 16 analysts polled by
First Call/Thomson Financial
were expecting a loss of 65 cents a share, well below the earnings of 50 cents the company posted in the year-ago period. After an accounting change, the company lost $195 million, or 58 cents.
Those expectations, of course, had been drastically lowered over the past couple of months, thanks to poor consumer demand and aggressive price-cutting by Apple. When the company
told investors in late September that it would miss its fourth-quarter earnings estimates by a country mile, it warned that the first quarter would get hit as well.
Accordingly, analysts, guided by Apple's
fourth-quarter earnings release in mid-October, lowered their first-quarter earnings estimates to 3 cents a share from 59 cents. But that wasn't the end of it. On Dec. 5, Apple
warned again, saying it anticipated a net loss of $225 million to $250 million and cutting its already lowered revenue target to $1 billion from $1.6 billion.
Revenue for the first quarter fell to $1 billion, down sharply from $2.34 billion in the same period last year.