There is little question that Apollo Computer Inc, Chelmsford, Massachusetts is a fine company with excellent prospects, but investors in the workstat-ion builder need very steady nerves, because the company is proving remarkably accident prone. A couple of years ago, its inventories got hopelessly out of balance and it turned in two or three quar-ters of very storm-damaged figures before coming up smiling again, and now the unauthorised actions of its foreign exchange dealer, who made a mistake and traded currencies wildly in a desperate effort to clean up his book, have turned out to be worse than was feared. The company will have to take a charge of $6.5m with its third quarter figures to cover the shortfall, $800,000 more than it first thought. That means that it won’t make any profit at all in the quarter, but rather a small loss. Sales for the quarter will be about 33% up on the $100.4m re-corded a year ago, on which it did $2.5m net.The outcome of the third quarter is not indicative of general business conditions, insists chairman Thomas Vanderslice. It is rather a result of sev-eral factors particular to the quarter that affected operating results. Orders for the new Series 4000 workstation introduced to customers early in the quarter exceeded our expectations. However the effect of seasonal weakness in the international markets and limitations on further acceleration of the production ramp-up to satisfy 4000 demand impeded the company’s ability to realise, even with a one-third increase in sales, sufficient earnings to offset the charge from unauthorized foreign transactions. None of these factors are continuing, and given the strength of business as we exited the third quarter, there is a basis for optimism as we look to the remainder of 1987.
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