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Computerized Investing > November/December 2006

Editor's Outlook

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by Wayne A. Thorp, CFA

With all the success Apple Computer is enjoying these days, many may not remember how gloomy things were looking for the company five years ago. At the end of April 2001, although no one knew it at the time, Apple’s share price reached the highest point it would see for almost three years. The company announced year-on-year declines in revenues and net income of 19% and 69.1%, respectively, for the third quarter ended June 30, 2001. The next quarter wasn’t any better as the company announced a year-on-year decline of 30% in revenues and 59.6% in net income. However, Apple’s road to recovery began when it rolled out its iPod digital music player on October 23, 2001.

Ironically, the iPod met mixed reviews at first, with many industry analysts balking at its $399 price tag. Others wondered whether Apple would be able to compete in the consumer electronics arena. However, at least one analyst, looking back, was eerily prescient: IDC analyst Bryan Ma was quoted as saying, “It’s another incentive for them that can convince people to buy a Mac.”

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