NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Troubled computer pioneer Apple Computer Inc. said it will take even longer for the company to return to profitability.
Apple Computer, struggling in the midst of a turnaround that has cost thousands of lost jobs, has already said it will post a loss for the current fiscal third quarter ending June 30.
In its latest 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple said it "expects that it will not return to until at least the fourth quarter of 1997, if not later."
It also expects net sales to fall below year-ago levels "through at least the fourth quarter of 1997, if not longer," the Cupertino, Calif.-based computer maker said in the May 12 filing.
In the second quarter, Apple lost $708 million, or $5.64 a share. The losses included $179 million in one-time restructuring charges. The restructuring included 3,500 full-time job cuts.
One analyst said the latest disclosure came as no surprise for investors given the steady decline in the company's revenue. "You're not going to return to profitability if revenues are going down," said computer industry analyst David Wu of Chicago Corp.
Indeed, Apple said gross margins (or profits as a percentage of revenue) "will remain under significant downward pressure."
For example, on Tuesday Apple significantly cut prices for its software development tool, Openstep, to $1,500 from $5,000.
To be sure, the company continues to forge ahead with its strategy of integrating new operating software, acquired from NeXT Software last December.
At an industry conference Tuesday, Apple also unveiled plans to release a Macintosh-based operating system that will also run on Intel-based personal computers.
-- Robert Liu