- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 18, 2006

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Building on continued momentum of its IPod players, Apple Computer Inc. nearly doubled its net income on record revenue and easily topped Wall Street expectations.

For the three-month period ended Dec. 31, the maker of Macintosh computers and IPods said yesterday it earned $565 million (65 cents per share), compared with $295 million (35 cents) in the year-ago quarter.

Apple revenue soared to $5.75 billion, up from $3.49 billion a year ago.

Analysts on average expected earnings of 61 cents per share on sales of $5.47 billion, according to a Thomson Financial poll. The forecast included a non-cash, share-based compensation expense of 3 cents per share.

“We are thrilled to report the best quarter in Apple’s history,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive officer. “We are working on more wonderful products for 2006, and I can’t wait to see what our customers think of them.”

Apple said it sold 14 million IPods during the holiday quarter — nearly three times as many units as in the same period a year ago. It shipped 1.25 million Mac computers in the quarter, up slightly from 1.05 million units a year ago. The Cupertino-based company has been working to cut its inventory ahead of new Mac computer products, including the first Apple machines with Intel chips, released last week.

Apple shares slumped nearly 7 percent in after-hours trading, sliding $5.67 after the report was released. Earlier, Apple’s stock fell 2.6 percent, or $2.22, to close at $82.49 on the Nasdaq Stock Market, dragged down by investor disappointment from lackluster results at Yahoo Inc. and missed expectations from Intel Corp.

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