Apple Posts 1Q Profit As Expected

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Apple Computer on Wednesday posted a fiscal first-quarter profit, directly in line with expectations and a turnaround from the year-ago loss, despite sluggish sales due to the economic downturn and an aging product lineup.

Apple posted a net profit of $38 million, or 11 cents per share, in the quarter ended in December compared with a loss of $195 million, or 58 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Sales were $1.38 billion in the quarter, which gets a boost from holiday sales, compared with $1 billion a year ago and $1.45 billion in the September quarter.

Apple had forecast a profit of at least a 10 cent per share before one-time items and sales of at least $1.4 billion, while analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call had expected, on average, earnings before items of 11 cents per share on sales of $1.43 billion.

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