April 25, 2007 / 8:24 PM / 12 years ago

Apple posts higher profit on strong MacBook sales

In this file photo Apple Computer Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs holds the new iPhone in San Francisco, California January 9, 2007. Apple's board members defended Jobs on Wednesday after the company's former finance chief linked Jobs to the handling of backdated stock options grants. REUTERS/Kimberly White

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc. (AAPL.O) said its quarterly profit soared 88 percent, fueled by lower component costs and sales of its MacBook computers and iPods, sending its shares up 8 percent to a record.

Apple reported on Wednesday net income for its fiscal second quarter jumped to $770 million, or 87 cents per share, from $410 million, or 47 cents per share. Revenue rose 21 percent to $5.26 billion.

The results blew away Apple’s own forecast, which tends to be cautious, of 54 cents to 56 cents. Analysts had expected Apple to earn 63 cents per share, on average, on revenue of $5.17 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

Apple announced this month it had sold its 100 millionth iPod in just over five years. The music player, which also now plays videos, has a more than 70 percent share of the digital music market. Apple’s iTunes music store, which also sells television shows and movies, has sold more than 2.5 billion songs since it opened.

Apple said in the quarter it sold 1.52 million Macintosh computers and 10.5 million iPods, up 36 percent and 24 percent, respectively, from the year-ago period.

Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore wrote in a note to clients this week that he expected Apple to sell about 11 million iPods in the quarter, and he believed demand was strong enough for Apple to meet his Mac unit shipment estimate of 1.4 million.

Also earlier this month, Apple said it was delaying the release of the next version of its Mac OS X operating system, code-named Leopard. It plans to give software developers a test copy and to ship Leopard in October.

It said the reason for the delay was that to deliver its eagerly anticipated iPhone on time, it needed to divert software development resources to the iPhone. Apple has said it still expects to start selling the device, at a price of $500 to $600, in late June.

Shares of Apple have climbed about 12 percent this year, after advancing 18 percent in 2006 and more than doubling in 2005, fueled by robust sales of iPods and redesigned Macintosh computers. In extended trade, the stock jumped to $102.80. In regular trade, the stock rose $2.11, or 2.3 percent, to $95.35.

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