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Apple financials due today

Apple Computer's earnings report for the first quarter is due out today. Analysts predict layoffs, paring down of product lines, and a diminished role for CEO Spindler.

    Apple Computer will release financial results for the first quarter at the close of business today. The company has already forecast a $68 million loss, and analysts expect Apple to announce a restructuring plan soon.

    Speculation about what the restructuring might entail is a hot topic among industry analysts. Predictions include layoffs affecting anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 employees, a new focus by Apple on the high end of its Macintosh computer line, and speculation that the company may sell off portions of its operation.

    Another prediction is that Apple president and chief executive Michael Spindler's role may diminish, or that he may step down. Dataquest analyst Kim Brown points to Apple cofounder A. C. Markkula's comment last week that Spindler was not feeling well. "It could be a trial balloon for announcing a diminished role for Spindler," added Brown. Talk of Spindler's ouster has been widespread in the past few weeks.

    Asked if Spindler is likely to resign, Brown said, "I doubt it."

    It's unlikely company officials will discuss the planned restructuring today, said Brown, "but they'll have to say something to get Wall Street excited about this company again."