By Laurie J. Flynn, The New York Times

October 19, 2006, SAN FRANCISCO — Apple Computer said Wednesday that strong sales of its Macintosh computers and iPod portable music players led to a 27 percent rise in its fiscal fourth-quarter profit.

The results, released after the market closed, caused Apple’s shares to jump as much as 6 percent in late trading as the company surpassed Wall Street forecasts. [...]

The company, which is based in Cupertino, Calif., reported net income of $546 million, or 62 cents a share, in the quarter, up from $430 million, or 50 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue was $4.84 billion, an increase of nearly 32 percent from $3.68 billion the year before. [...]

Macintosh sales accounted for 58 percent of revenue in the quarter, spurred in part by the new school season’s huge demand for notebook computers, the company said. In September, Apple expanded its line of Macs and completed a transition to Intel-based microprocessors.

In a conference call with analysts, the chief financial officer, Peter Oppenheimer, spoke of "the best Mac shipments by far in any quarter in Apple’s history."

The company said it shipped 1.6 million Macintosh computers, up 30 percent from a year earlier. Revenue from desktop and portable Macs increased 37 percent, to $2.2 billion.

Apple’s chief executive, Steven P. Jobs, said: "This strong quarter caps an extraordinary year for Apple. Selling more than 39 million iPods and 5.3 million Macs while performing an incredibly complex architecture transition is something we are all very proud of."

An analyst at Piper Jaffray, Eugene A. Munster, seemed to agree. "It’s an impressive quarter," he said. "They blew away even the highest expectations on the Mac side...."




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