Apple’s CFO Provides Projections for June Quarter

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In Appleis Financial Results Conference Call on Wednesday, Appleis CFO made some projections for the next quarter. Revenue will be down slightly.

After his prepared statement, Peter Oppenheimer answered questions and made some projections for the next quarter, April-June, Appleis Third Fiscal Quarter.

Revenue is expected to be about US$5.1B compared to the last quarteris $5.26B just announced. Gross Margin will dip slightly from 35% to 32%. And operating expenses (OPEX) will climb from $863M to $950M.

Mr. Oppenheimer cited favorable commodity prices (cost of parts, RAM, etc.) during the last quarter for the excellent Gross Margin, but warned investors that commodity prices are expected to go up this quarter. As a result the Gross margin will drop, and the guidance was that 35% is not a sustainable number.

Also, the quarter ending in June is the education buying season for K-12, and the Average Selling Price (ASP) for Macs is typically lower. The Apple CFO reported that, in addition, the Q3 is not considered a strong consumer buying season, hence the slightly reduced expectation for revenue of $5.1B.

Apple also projected a significant increase in OPEX for the next quarter, a 10 percent increase to US$950, but no detailed reason was provided.

No specific projections for Mac or iPods sales were made.

Finally, one analyst asked about Appleis current US$12.6B in cash. Typically, having that much cash sitting around is not considered "a good use of money," and one analyst asked if Apple is planning a stock buy-back. Mr. Oppenheimer admitted that the board has, from time to time, discussed a stock buy-back, but there has been no decision.

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