Apple Computer Inc’s expected first quarter loss turned out to be midway between forecasts at $120m, up from a loss of $69m in the same period last year. Revenue plunged 32% to $2.1bn in the period from $3.1bn last time. The company blamed partly on weak sales of its consumer-oriented Performa systems in the US; unit sales were down 1% over the fourth quarter at 923,000. Gross margins stand at 19% compared with 15% a year ago. The company won’t return to profit in the current quarter as it had originally hoped; $1bn of restructuring is in the pipe as it aims to reach break-even on $8bn revenues by the fiscal fourth quarter to the end of September 1997. It’ll use $400m of its $1.8bn cash to pay for the acquisition of Next Software Inc. Apple share stood at $17.25 yesterday.