- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 11, 2005

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Apple Computer Inc., fueled by record sales of its IPod players and strong back-to-school computer sales, reported yesterday that its fourth-quarter net income surged more than 300 percent to a record $430 million.

The results, released after the stock market closed, beat analysts’ expectations.

For the quarter ended Sept. 24, the Cupertino, Calif., company earned $430 million (50 cents a share), up from the previous year’s fourth-quarter earnings of $106 million (13 cents).

Excluding a special 12-cents-a-share tax benefit, Apple said it would have earned 38 cents a share. On that basis, the results exceeded the per-share estimate among Wall Street analysts by a penny, according to research firm Thomson Financial.

Revenue rose to $3.68 billion from $2.35 billion in the same fourth quarter last year.

For the year, Apple said it earned $1.335 billion on revenue of $13.93 billion.

“We had nearly $14 billion in revenue — the best in our history,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s chief financial officer.

For the first quarter, Mr. Oppenheimer said the company expects to reach sales of $4.7 billion, up 35 percent from $1.2 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Apple is riding high on the success of its popular and ever-evolving line of IPods. The continued innovation of the iconic music player has nearly tripled Apple’s share price from its 52-week low of $18.83 on Dec. 12, 2004.

The company is set to introduce yet another new product today, and industry observers speculate it will be an IPod capable of playing video.

Apple shares fell 11.3 percent, or $5.82 in late trading after the income report was released. Earlier, the stock gained $1.22 to close at $51.59 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

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