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August 19, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Apple Computer Inc is seeing exceptionally strong demand for its newly-launched iMac all-in-one desktop computer. The company said that reports from its retail channel indicate record acceptance of the product, with many dealers reporting complete sell-outs and orders for units that have yet to be delivered. CompUSA described the iMac is its biggest computer launch it’s ever seen, while ComputerWare claimed it sold more iMacs on Saturday than all desktop PCs combined in the month of July. Analysts at Credit Suisse First Boston said that of retailers it polled, essentially all of them had sold out, with an average of 40 units sold per store and back orders of roughly 14 per location. Extrapolating those numbers, CSFB figures Apple saw revenue of about $7m in the first two days of iMac sales. More importantly, analysts say, the product provides the company’s December quarter with a real opportunity for its first year-over-year revenue growth in 13 quarters. CSFB is maintaining a hold rating on the stock long- term, but believes there could be further near-term opportunity. The current consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by First Call is for earnings of $0.48 per share in the September quarter and $0.62 in December. Apple says it will be refueling the sold-out stores with tens of thousands more this weekend. The iMac is due to debut in Japan on August 29, but supplies there will no doubt be limited, as the company has promised US demand will be met before shipping boxes overseas. The company is spending $100m to market the new computer, the largest such campaign in the company’s history (CI No 3,474).

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