Apple has announced profits of $111 million - or $0.63 per share - for the fourth quarter of 1999. These results compare with $106 million - or $0.68 per share - for the same quarter last year. Apple's stock value fell to $64.0313 in response, a fall of 3.6562 points on NASDAQ.

The profits were far above predictions, which stood at the $70-80 million mark. Revenue for the quarter were $1.34 billion, down 14 per cent from a year ago. Gross margins, however, were up to 28.7 per cent, against 26.8 per cent in the same quarter last year. 35 per cent of revenues stemmed from international sales.

Revenues for the fiscal year stood at $6.1 billion, with net earnings of $601 million, $3.61 per share - up from 1998's $309 million net earnings ($2.10/share).

Analysts on Wall Street were broadly supportive of Apple's profits in the quarter, with the majority continuing, at this time, to rate Apple as a strong stock. Fred Anderson, Apple's Chief Financial Officer, said: "We are very optimistic about our December quarter," He added: "The reaction to our new products has been incredibly strong."

"We are delighted by the response to our new products - we received orders for over 250,000 new iMacs in the first week since its announcement, and over 300,000 iBooks since its announcement in late July," said Steve Jobs, Apple's interim CEO. "We are geared up to ship all of our products in high volume this quarter."

In related news, Apple used the opportunity to announce a new deal with IBM, by which IBM will supply G4 chips for Apple in the first half of 2000. Also announced was a reconfiguration of the new G4's processor speeds, in order to match demand with Motorola's production speed. The new G4's now run in configurations of 350MHz, 400MHz and 450MHz at the same price points. The 500MHz G4 will not be available until next year. Putting a positive spin on this news, Steve Jobs explained that the reconfiguration will enable Apple to meet the existing demands for its new G4 line, and further went on to point out that the machines will still out-perform high-end Pentium III's.

Macweek reports that Apple shipped about 772,000 units, 58 per cent of which were iMacs, 28 per cent Power Macs, 13 per cent PowerBooks, and less than one per cent shipped units of iBooks and servers. Apple only shipped 6,000 iBooks and 64,000 PowerMac G4s for the quarter. Apple also noted that it has taken 250,000 orders for the new iMacs at this time.