“Shareholders of Apple Computer Inc. haven’t had much to complain about lately. While many other tech companies’ shares are stagnant, Apple’s stock price is almost double what it was a year ago. Earnings are at record highs. And while its share of the personal computer market is still a measly 5 percent or so, its lead in the consumer digital entertainment arena is growing quickly,” Bob Keefe reports for Cox News Service. “So as Steve Jobs kicked off Apple’s annual shareholder meeting here Thursday, he told the several hundred attendees that he hoped the doubling of the company’s market capitalization in the past year put ‘a smile on their faces.’ And then Jobs gave shareholders a few hints as to why they might continue to be bullish on the company in the near future.”
“He hinted that the company may soon introduce a comprehensive home entertainment device that would combine the features of a PC with television, audio systems and other components. And, he said, some of the products on the drawing board at Apple could be the best the company ever invented and ‘among the best I’ve ever seen in my life.’ He declined to give specifics,” Keefe reports. “Later, when a shareholder suggested that Apple should introduce a more full-featured PC and software for home entertainment — similar to what rivals have done using Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Media Center platform — Jobs indicated he should stay tuned. ‘We hear you loud and clear,’ he said coyly. Asked for more comment, he demurred. ‘I don’t comment on anything we haven’t announced yet,’ Jobs said.”
“In the most recent survey of Wall Street analysts by financial information firm Thomson/First Call, 17 said they rated the stock as a ‘buy or strong buy,’ eight rated it a ‘hold’ and none rated it a sell,” Keefe reports. “As it celebrates its 30th birthday, Apple is getting more attention and is in a better position than it has been in for a very long time, thanks to the enormous success of its iPod and iTunes digital music business. Its moves earlier this year to switch to Intel computer chips and recent decision to let its PCs run Windows software through a program it calls ‘Boot Camp’ are aimed at revitalizing its computer business as well.”
Keefe reports, “Jobs added he was pleasantly surprised at how well Apple’s highly touted switch to Intel chips is going, and predicted it could help the company gain PC market share… Jobs said he expected sales to get a boost from a major advertising campaign the company is launching next week. But he added that Apple isn’t planning any big pushes into the market for business PC users, which some analysts and shareholders have suggested it should do now that it uses Intel chips and has machines that run Windows – the standards in business computing. ‘We seem to have more success in other places,’ he said.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: We’re quite interested to see for which product(s) this major advertising campaign is designed to sell and also just how “major” it ends up being; forgive us for our skepticism, we’ve had hopes for a real television campaign for Macintosh raised and dashed for years.
[UPDATE: 10:14am EDT: Fixed typo “Appel” to “Apple” in headline.]
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Steve Jobs: no interest in being Disney exec, plans to spend more time at Apple – April 27, 2006
Notes from Apple shareholders’ meeting: ‘exciting’ TV ad campaign to launch next week – April 27, 2006