_Apple Posts Profit; Jobs Crows Company "Is Back"_
Apple Computer chief in residence Steve Jobs surprised the
financial community yesterday when he revealed at MacWorld
in San Francisco that the company will post a $45 million
profit for its fiscal first quarter -- its first quarterly
profit in more than a year. The profit comes on revenue of
$1.58 billion, 25% lower than in the year-earlier quarter.
Apple's fiscal first quarter encompasses the usually strong
holiday buying season, but the year-end surge didn't keep
Apple from losing $120 million in its year-earlier fiscal
first quarter. Apple last posted a quarterly profit--of $25
million, on revenue of $2.32 billion -- for its fourth
quarter ended Sept. 27, 1996. Jobs wouldn't promise the
MacWorld faithful that the company would post a profit for
its second quarter, though he did declare: "I can tell you,
I think for sure that Apple is back."
Following Jobs' speech, Apple executives attributed the
profit to higher margins and cost cutting. Executives said
Apple also benefited from the November release of its
Macintosh G3 computers, its November launch of an online
store for direct sales of Macintosh systems, its new build-
to-order manufacturing model, and its partnership with
retailer CompuUSA for creating a special Apple section
within 57 of its stores.
Also at MacWorld, Microsoft officials said the software
vendor will make available in March Office 98 for the Mac,
including some features not currently available on the
Windows version of Office 98. Oracle said it will ensure
that all of its Web-based business applications be
compatible with Mac clients by mid-year.