Apple PerformsFor the March quarter, the Cupertino, Calif., company posted a net profit of $46 million, or 12 cents per diluted share, according to generally accepted accounting principles. These results compare with a net profit of $14 million, or 4 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue for the quarter was $1.90 billion, up 29% from a year ago. Without an after-tax restructuring charge of $7 million, the company would have earned 14 cents a share, compared with the 10 cents expected by analysts polled by Thomson First Call. Looking forward, the company now expects a third-quarter profit of 12 cents to 13 cents, including another 2-cent restructuring charge on sales of about $1.925 billion. Wall Street was expecting pro forma earnings of 9 cents on sales of $1.825 billion. Merely meeting expectations wouldn't have been enough for investors who pushed Apple's shares up by 28%. So far this year, as of Tuesday's close, it was markedly better than the Nasdaq Composite as a whole (up about 1%) or the big kahuna of the Windows-based computer world -- Dell ( DELL), up just 4%. One explanation for the difference: Apple's resounding success in the world of online music and related consumer devices. "Mac sales are holding their own, but the story is a dramatic increase in products other than computers," said Wolf. Sales of items other than computers represented 11.2% of Apple's revenue in 2001. By 2003, those sales rose to 27.6%, and in the consumer-oriented December quarter, the number reached 36.7%, Wolf said. "As a long-term investor, I'm happy with how broad the company's portfolio has become," said Vinnie Muscolino, managing director of David L. Babson, which manages more than $80 billion in assets and is long Apple. "It eases the ups and downs of the product cycle." Is the stock too rich? "Not at 2.5 times
|Apple's Tasty Stock |
While Dell and the Nasdaq languish, Apple soars.