Apple, Long on Design, Falls Short on Revenue - TheStreet

If

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

is looking for financial results that will get the kind of reception its sleek line of iMacs did a week ago, it has a ways to go.

The computer maker reported the results of its first quarter of fiscal 2002 after the bell Wednesday, scraping together just $1.38 billion in revenue but using cost-savings to stretch that into an 11-cents-a-share profit. Apple missed analyst consensus estimates of $1.43 billion in revenue, according to Multex.com, but did a penny better than expectations of 10 cents a share in profit. That represents a 5% revenue slide from the fall quarter's $1.45 billion and falls short of Apple's previous guidance that it would garner more than $1.4 billion in sales.

Apple forecast that it would be able to muster $1.5 billion in the second quarter ending in March, when shoppers typically take a post-holiday season breather. Analysts were expecting $1.35 billion in second-quarter revenue, according to Multex.com.

Apple shares fell more than 4% to $20.78 in Wednesday trading.

The PC maker is on a three-quarter rebound from a disastrous first quarter of fiscal 2001 in which the company lost a stunning 73 cents a share on sheared revenue that totaled $1 billion. At the time, Apple had the wrong product mix and was lacking a modernized operating system. When it reported results Tuesday, both those holes had been filled, first by the 2001 unveiling of Mac OS X and then by the early January 2002 revamping of its low-end iMac line, albeit after the holiday season.

Apple showed a considerable unit-sales decline in the fourth quarter, despite opening 27 Apple Stores in 2001. In its fiscal fourth quarter, Apple shipped 850,000 Macintoshes, but during the holiday season it sent only 746,000 happy computers into the market, perhaps because it lacked the new iMacs in its lineup. Last quarter, Apple raised its margins to 30.1% to hit Street profit estimates. It improved on those marks in the first quarter, when margins increased to 30.6%.