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Apple spending on the rise

As Apple continues to balloon in size, so does its spending. The company now estimates that its capital expenditures for fiscal 2006 will total $700 million, an increase of some $280 million over estimates from three months ago, due largely to real estate acquisitions for its second campus.

Apple\'s total capital expenditures were $275 million during the first six months of fiscal 2006, $82 million of which were for retail store facilities and equipment related to its retail segment, the company said in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

The remaining $193 million was spent on corporate infrastructure, including information systems enhancements and operating facilities enhancements and expansions.

For its entire fiscal year, Apple now estimates it will utilize $700 million for capital expenditures. This figure is up from a $420 million estimate reported by the company in a similar filing this February.

The brunt of the increase is a result of recently announced plans by Apple to build a second campus in its home town of Cupertino. The company said real estate acquisitions for the project, combined with the purchase of a data center in Newark, will cost about $265 million.

Another $210 million will be spent on retail development, while the remaining $225 million will be used to support normal replacement of existing capital assets and enhancements to general information technology infrastructure.

As of April 1, Apple\'s total future minimum lease payments related for its retail stores increased to $782 million from $705 million on December 31, 2005, the company said. At this time, its outstanding third-party manufacturing commitments and component purchase commitments totaled approximately $1.3 billion.

Apple also said its R&D spending increased 48 percent or $57 million to $176 million in the second quarter of 2006 compared to $119 million in the second quarter of 2005. The increase was due primarily to an increase in R&D headcount in the current year to support expanded R&D activities, the company said.

During the second quarter of 2006, Apple withheld a total of 4.6 million shares of its common stock at a price of $64.66 per share related to the net-share settlement of vesting restricted stock to pay chief executive Steve Jobs\' minimum statutory tax obligations. It was the first time the company engaged in any transactions to repurchase its common stock since 2001.

Apple has repurchased a total of 13.1 million shares at a cost of $217 million under this plan and is authorized to repurchase up to an additional $283 million of its common stock as of April 1, 2006, the company said.