Standard & Poor's today revised its outlook on Apple Computer Inc. to positive from stable.
Standard & Poor's also affirmed its single-'B'-plus senior debt and single-'B'-minus subordinated debt ratings on the company.
The outlook revision reflects Apple's continuing profitability and improved debt protection measures.
The ratings for Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple reflect extremely competitive personal computer (PC) industry conditions and weak market share.
Apple has a good position in the education and desktop publishing markets, and has recently recovered market share in the consumer PC market.
However, the company's presence in the corporate/enterprise market remains weak. Apple reported 9% year-over-year revenue growth and even stronger unit growth in the quarter ended March 27, 1999.
However, sustained revenue growth and longer term success are still dependent on a limited range of new product offerings.
Near-term liquidity and financial flexibility have significantly improved. Apple has cash and short-term investments well in excess of $2 billion.
Sustained revenue growth while maintaining profitability and financial flexibility could lead to ratings improvement within the next 12 months.
Wall Street doesn't seem to get the fact that Apple is back. S&P's rating is so far the only one to to improve for Apple and even this one is still very lackluster.