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Apple Computer's profits surge on iPod, laptop sales

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Apple Computer Inc.'s fourth quarter earnings soared on strong sales of laptop computers and its popular iPod music players, helping the company notch its highest revenue for the quarter in nine years.

The results easily topped Wall Street's expectations.

The Cupertino, Calif., company attributed the successful quarter to robust sales across its product line, namely its iBook and PowerBook computers, its iPod music players and stronger-than-expected results from its retail and education sectors.

"They all came together and did very well," Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's chief financial officer, said in an interview.

For the three months ended Sept. 25, Apple said it earned $106 million, or 26 cents per share. In the same period last year, the company earned $44 million, or 12 cents a share.

Excluding a one-time restructuring charge of $4 million, Apple said it would have earned $110 million, or 27 cents per share.

Revenue for the quarter was $2.35 billion, up 37 percent from $1.7 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had projected earnings of 18 cents a share on revenue of $2.15 billion.