Reaping the benefits of extensive cost-cutting, Apple Computer Inc. posted a $47 million profit during its first fiscal quarter, compared to a $120 million loss a year earlier.
Apple (AAPL) finished the quarter with 33-cents-per-share earnings, a hair below the 34 cents consensus estimate on Wall Street but still a pleasant surprise considering the computer maker's travails over the last couple of years.
Company officials last week told attendees at Macworld Expo that the company would return to the black. Until then, analysts had expected the company to post a small loss.
Apple's sales fell to $1.6 billion from $2.1 billion. But the company was nonetheless able to climb back to profitability as expenses declined to $313 million, compared to $353 million in the September quarter and $521 million in the year-ago quarter.
"The December quarter results reflect the benefits of the disciplined focus that Apple has undertaken in recent months," said Apple interim CEO Steve Jobs in a statement.
The company said its results were also aided by the introduction of the Power Macintosh G3 computers. Apple said it shipped more than 133,000 units during the quarter.
Apple execs were upbeat as they discussed the company's Q1 earnings with analysts.