Apple to Open 40 Stores in 2008; Sees Continued Low Memory Prices

| About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said Monday the company plans to open 40 new stores over the coming year, including its first China outlet. During Apple's earnings conference call (full transcript), Oppenheimer noted the company opened 12 stores during the current quarter, and now operates 197 stores, which were responsible for $1.25 billion of Apple's $6.22 billion in quarterly revenue, representing 42% year-over-year growth. The stores sold 473,000 Macs, he said, and over 50% of customers buying Macs in Apple stores were new to the Mac. Oppenheimer cautioned that FQ1 may see sequentially lower sales, given the success of the company's back-to-school promotion which intensified sales in FQ4. COO Tim Cook said during the call Apple expects continued low memory prices over the coming quarter, a factor Cook noted was in part responsible for Apple's improving gross margins: "As you know, DRAM and NAND flash were favorable last quarter, and we believe that will continue in our Q1," he said. Cook also said Apple is confident it will ship 10 million iPhones in calendar year 2008. Bear Stearns analyst Andrew Neff asked Oppenheimer about the company's unusually strong guidance. "Andy, I give you guidance each quarter that we believe we have a reasonable chance of achieving," he replied.

Sources: Apple earnings call transcript later today, Reuters
Commentary: Apple Up 7% on FQ4 Earnings BeatApple: Falling Flash Memory Prices Should Help Gross MarginsApple: Gross Margin Upside From Falling Flash, DRAM Pricing
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Earnings call transcript: Apple F4Q07

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