NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Apple Computer Inc. reported higher-than-expected fiscal first-quarter profits Wednesday and voted to reward chief executive Steve Jobs with a lucrative compensation package that includes stock options and his own jet plane.|
Apple attributed the solid performance to strong sales of its iMac and iBook personal computers, which continue to grow faster than the rest of the industry.
"We are delighted that Apple is delivering strong growth on every front -- revenues, profits and units -- and in particular that our unit growth last quarter was 2.5 times higher than the industry average, which leads directly to market share growth," Jobs said in a statement.† "Apple also continues to deliver the best asset management in the industry, ending the quarter with less than one day of inventory."
Inside the numbers
For the three months ended Jan. 1, Apple (AAPL) earned $183 million, or $1.03 per diluted share, up from $152 million, or 95 cents a share a year ago. Revenue surged 37 percent to $2.34 billion.
Excluding one-time items, Apple earned $178
million, or $1 a share, topping Wall Street consensus estimates of 90 cents a share and "whisper" forecasts of 94 cents.
The latest quarterly results included an after-tax gain of $101 million resulting from the sale of approximately 5 million shares of ARM Holdings Plc., a restructuring charge of $6 million, and a one-time charge for a special executive bonus of $90 million.
Apple sold 1.38 million systems during the† quarter, including more than 700,000 iMacs and
235,000 iBook portable computers, a gain of 46
percent over the year-ago period.
Shipments in the United States rose 35 percent, compared with a 34-percent jump in Europe and a 97-percent gain in Japan.
A jet and a ton of stock options for Jobs
Apple has been on a roll lately, thanks in large part to a new line of speedy computers and notebooks.
In recognition of Jobs' role in Apple's dramatic turnaround, the company's board of directors† voted to give Jobs a Gulfstream V jet and options to purchase 10 million shares of Apple stock.
"Steve's stock options were granted a week ago at the then-market price, and will gain value only as Apple's stock price rises, to the benefit of all shareholders," said Apple Board member Jerry York said. "This grant reflects Steve's and the Board's confidence in the future value of Apple."
Jobs, who co-founded Apple in 1976, recently decided to become the company's full-time chief executive officer, ending 2-1/2 years as interim CEO.
"Apple's market cap has risen from less than $2 billion to over $16 billion under Steve's leadership since his return to the company two and a half years ago," said board member Ed Woolard. "Steve has taken no compensation thus far, and we are therefore delighted to give him this airplane in appreciation of the great job he has done for our shareholders during this period."
Jobs' annual compensation will stay at $1 per year.††††††††††††
Anderson also said during Wednesday night's conference call with analysts that although he couldn't comment on the specifics with the company's new alliance with Internet service provider (ISP) Earthlink (ELNK) the deal should bring Apple an additional $25-$35 million in gross profits over the next 12 months.
Anderson also said the company expects a normal sequential decline in revenue for the next quarter, but is optimistic about growth during the rest of the year.
Apple shares rose to 111 in after-hours trade from the 4 p.m. New York close of 106-9/16.