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Wednesday, October 13, 1999 Published at 21:54 GMT 22:54 UK

Business: The Company File

Apple beats expectations

Apple forecasts strong sales of all products for the rest of the year

Apple beat market expectations when it reported strong fourth quarter earnings.

The computer company also announced a deal with IBM to alleviate some of its chip supply problems.

Last month Apple forecast its earnings would be below expectations because of problems it had getting enough PowerPC G4 chips from Motorola.

This had prompted analysts to slash their earnings estimates from about $0.75 to $0.45 per diluted share. Shares jumped in after-hour trading on Wednesday when earnings were reported at $0.51 without non-recurring items.

Apple also posted a net profit for its fiscal fourth quarter of $111m, against $106m before.

The news comes against a backdrop of continued delays in getting products such as the iBook notebook computers onto shop shelves.

Now Apple says IBM will begin making G4 processor chips in the first half of 2000 for use in Apple products. To meet customer demand, Apple plans to sell Power Macintosh G4 systems with slower chips.

With an order backlog of over $700m, the company foresees a strong December quarter.

"We are delighted by the response to our new products...We are geared up to ship all of our products in high volume this quarter," Mr Steve Jobs, Apple chief executive said.

The company said new iMac orders were 250,000 in the first week, with 300,000 orders received for the iBook since late July.

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