Apple Computer Inc.’s fourth quarter of 2005 was the best operating period in the company’s history, according to Apple, but financial analysts were expecting even more from the company in Tuesday’s earnings release.
Fourth-quarter revenue was US$3.68 billion, up from $2.35 billion in last year’s fourth quarter, but slightly below the expectations of analysts polled by Thomson First Call for revenue of $3.73 billion.
Analysts have been worried that Apple’s skyrocketing growth over the last few years would inevitably fall as its iPod music player becomes almost ubiquitous. However, even though revenue fell short of expectations, iPod shipments were up an astounding 220 percent compared to last year’s fourth quarter.
Apple’s fourth-quarter profit was $430 million, or $0.50 in earnings per share. This compares to profit of $106 million, or $0.13 per share, last year. The profit numbers included a $0.12 per share benefit related to revisions in Apple’s tax accounting. Excluding the benefit, earnings per share were $0.38, slightly ahead of analyst estimates of $0.37 per share.
For the full year, Apple recorded $13.93 billion in revenue and $1.34 billion in profit, both of which were company records, Apple said.
The company expects revenue of $4.7 billion and earnings per share of around $0.46 for the upcoming quarter.
Apple will hold a conference call later on Tuesday to discuss its results.
By Tom Krazit, IDG News Service