“After reinventing itself twice in the past decade, Apple Computer Inc. has emerged from the latest tech wreck with a new look and in sound financial shape, well poised to once again become a US$10-billion company,” Stephen Miles writes for The Financial Post. “The company’s stock, up 21% this year, is near a three-year peak and is up 101% from its low of US$12.72 set last April.”
Miles writes, “Apple is riding a wave of euphoria generated by the success of its highly popular iPod digital music player. The iPod has a 55% market share and has become an industry standard for playing MP3s sold and distributed via the Internet. The company’s co-founder and chief executive Steve Jobs has been hailed a hero by investors for steering the often-maligned firm on a new course that some say could see it recapture the giddy heights of its glory days.”
“But, as in the past, don’t expect it to be all clear sailing for Apple. Critics say the technology firm is going out on a limb by concentrating so much of its future on the iPod and the online music business, which is still in its infancy,” Miles writes. “During the fiscal first quarter of 2004, 53% of Apple’s retail segment sales came from iPod, or other branded and third-party peripherals, software and services.”
“Still, to the legion of Apple fans — and that includes a good deal of the investment community because of its recent results — expectations are for Apple’s good times to continue. But a company is only as good as its last set of financials, and it would only take one misstep to see Apple shares take a significant tumble,” Miles writes.
Full article here.