Apple's fourth-quarter results will be ship-shape, according to Fred Anderson, Apple's chief financial officer.

According to Anderson, Apple inventories have been reduced to four weeks, and Wall Street has projected earning of 19 cents per share.

Apple has beaten the economic pinch felt by many other PC manufacturers. Its earnings increased by $20 million in fiscal year 2001, prompting Anderson to describe the company as a "cash machine".

Steady as she goes He said that "no news is good news" when quizzed on the company's fourth quarter results.

"We give guidance once a quarter, and if you don't hear from us, that's good news," Fred Anderson told CBS Marketwatch at the Salomon Smith Barney Tech2001 Conference. He was asked to revise Apple's performance for the fourth quarter 2001.

Apple has thrived on the success of Mac OS X, anticipated to be "a high-growth driver next year", especially with big guns like Adobe expected to join the platform. 2002 should see Apple's retail division also yield a profit, Anderson said.

Apple's excursion into education has proven fruitful, and it's steadily gaining market share, Anderson claimed.