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Apple: record fiscal results

178 million dollars of profit, 1 dollar per share, a turnover of 2 billion and 340 million dollars. Apple literally sweeps away the forecast of the eve and sets a new record in terms of earnings for the last fiscal quarter of 1999. An exceptional result, the best of the last ten years (to find a performance of this type we must go back to the second fiscal quarter of 1989) and that it becomes even more considerable if they are added to the profits derived from the company's operations to the so-called "On time earnings", or to operations of sale of shares that make profits even higher, precisely at 183 million dollars , or $ 1.03 per share. If you think that last year, in the same quarter, Apple scored a performance that put the gains at $ 153 million (29% less than this year) and that already then the result was defined as exceptional, we understand how difficult it is not to waste adjectives on the trend of the last quarter of 1999.The new excellent performance, which has not failed to amaze Wall Street analysts who forecast a much lower gain (around 88 cents per share), have their foundations in Apple's success with the sale of new low-end machines. iMacs and iBooks have indeed met with great success everywhere in the world. Suffice it to say that of 1,377,000 machines sold (+ 46% compared to the same period last year) 235,000 are iBooks and 700,000 iMacs (among which the DV Special edition was the most requested). It is, therefore, thanks to iMac and iBook if, as financial manager Fred Anderson pointed out "Apple grew for the fourth fiscal at a rate that is 2.5 times that of the market". A success that reverberated in all the main markets of the company (international sales were 51%) but which had absolute peaks in Asia where sales of computers with the apple are almost duplicated (+ 97%). Good also in Europe where the share increased by 34%. Inevitable, given that success derives from the sale of low-end machines, a conspicuous reduction in profit margins. If the previous fiscal quarter, in fact, the gross gain for each machine was around 28 hours, down to 25.9%. "It is less than we had anticipated – said Anderson -; have had a negative impact on the increase of most of the components (in particular RAM cards) and by the higher shipping costs incurred to adequately replenish the channels during the Christmas holidays ?Anderson also confirmed that in the last quarter Apple has had some problems, not better specified, in the deliveries of the PowerBooks. In this regard, the manager of the Cupertino company did not provide details, refusing even to give details on the exact number of machines delivered. Some more information on the G4s that would have been delivered in quantities greater than those of the previous fiscal quarter (350,000 against 200,000) even if procurement problems continued, which did not allow the entire backlog of orders to be canceled entirely. No detail, however, on the release of the long-awaited 500 MHz version. We recall that at the center of the last report on fiscal results there was precisely the announcement of the cancellation of the 500 MHz and the "reconfiguration" of the G4 line that had been announced only a few weeks earlier, during the San Francisco Seybold, there was also the performance of Apple's online services. There is great satisfaction, in particular, for everything that revolves around the Internet. Sales on the Apple Store grow at a very high rate, "This is our fastest-growing sector, higher than that of traditional channels," said Anderson. A trend that should continue and be consolidated also in the coming months. Even the "i" services (iDisk, iCards etc.) are trying to be a good choice in terms of the market and that in a short time could produce profits. In the first week of the launch alone, 10 million pages have already been served by the iReview and iCard sections, and the members of the iTool service have exceeded 100,000 units. 150,000 iDisks were installed and 250,000 iCards were shipped. Really impressive if you consider that the services are only in English and only (at least formally) for MacOs 9.0. In fact, according to a brief mention of Fred Anderson, sales of the operating system were not as good as expected. A factor that also has an impact on net profit margins. Traditionally, in fact, MacOs sales produce very high margins. Looking at the next fiscal quarter, Fred Anderson has announced forecasts of a decrease (estimated at 10 to 15%) in turnover and a slight increase in gross margins. Traditionally the second quarter of the year (which accounts for market performance from January to March, approximately) one of the least positive for industries operating in the consumer goods and electronics sector. An important contribution, already from the next quarter, should come from the alliance with Earthlink. The company expects from the investment in the company that deals with Internet connections gross profits that will go from 25 to 35 million dollars. Many of the details of the agreement with Earthlink, in any case, are not known, although it is certain that Apple will get a profit margin for every Apple user who signs an Internet subscription. Apple now seems to have really taken off and, as a symbol of the new trend, the company's board of directors has unanimously voted to give Steve Jobs a Gulfstream V. The plane, one of the best-dressed business jets of the last generation, with long-haul capacity and 14 passengers, the recognition "for having increased Apple's capitalization from 2 billion to 16 billion dollars – says a company statement – in two and a half years of work. Jobs has not yet received any compensation and the airplane is a sign of gratitude from all shareholders ". A present that is worth, including the taxes and the costs that Jobs will incur to get hold of the aircraft, about 90 million dollars, about 180 billion lire. If Jobs, in place of the Gulfstream, had received compensation in cash his salary would have been around $ 38.5 million a year. At present, in pure "yankee-business" style, we add the universal 10 million shares valued at about $ 87 each (the price a week ago). Which means that Jobs has pocketed another 87 million dollars which, after yesterday's AAPL show an excellent performance, have already become 107 million dollars, or another 200 billion lire.