During the quarter Apple shipped 734,000 Macintosh computers, down fourteen percent from last yearis shipment levels. Gross margins (the difference between Appleis selling price and the cost of manufacture) fell to 26.4 percent from 30.1 percent.
Fred Anderson, Appleis CFO, has chosen to be conservative in the companyis estimates for the December quarter (Appleis first fiscal quarter of 2003). His guidance to analysts is that Apple will see a modest increase in revenue and earnings from the September quarter for the current three-month period.
For the fiscal year Apple reported a net profit of US$ 65 million on revenue of US$5.74 billion. Mr. Anderson referenced the difficult times in the PC business as one reason for conservative estimates. Apple plans to open several more retail stores by the Thanksgiving holiday but the company remains cautious about the prospects for strong holiday sales. In a prepared statement released to the press, Apple CEO Steve Jobs states that the company does not see a pick up in sales for the PC industry anytime soon.
This week IBM and Intel also reported mixed results for the third calendar quarter and most analysts will view Appleis results as symptomatic of the difficult times faced by most large companies in the technology sector of the economy.
For other stories regarding Appleis stock activity, visit our updated Apple Stock Watch Special Report.