Apple Computer Inc., a producer of personal computers, was received eagerly by investors today when it sold shares of itself to the public for the first time.

But there was none of the frenzied price surge that accompanied the first public offering of Genentech Inc., the genetric engineering firm whose stock price rocketed from $35 a share to nearly $90 a share within minutes after the offering was completed last October.

Apple sold 5 million shares today at an initial price of $22 a share. The stock climbed quickly to between $29 and $30, receded to about $27, and then closed the day at $29.

"It was about what we anticipated," said Jack Wadsworth, a managing director of Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc., the major Wall Street investment banking firm that was comanager of the Apple offering.

When Genentech climbed sharply after its initial offering, underwriters at Salomon Brothers in New York and Hambrecht & Quist in San Francisco said they were astonished. The stock has since settled back to about $40 a share, as the severe decline in stock prices during the last two weeks has dealt a blow, although perhaps temporary, to some of the speculative excesses many analysts thought had permeated at least the market for small technology stocks.

Apple, which makes the popular Apple II personal computer, earned $11.7 million on revenues of $117.9 million during its fiscal year ended Sept. 26. Founders, directors and early investors own more than 47 million shares in addition to the 5 million shares sold today.