UBS analyst Ben Reitzes maintains his buy rating for Apple stock, and sees an increased interest in the video capable iPod and the iMac G5, which should help to drive product sales even higher. He expects Macworld Expo in January to be "a circus," with new product announcements, new services, and new initiatives from Apple.
UBS is raising its first quarter 2006 estimate again for earnings per share based on Appleis potential growth, thanks to increasing iPod and iMac sales. The new estimate is US$0.58, up from $0.53, with a year-over-year growth of 50 percent on $5.2 billion in sales.
iPod sales growth is expected to be up 149 percent to 11.4 million units shipped, including over 3 million video capable iPods. That figure is substantially higher that Piper Jaffray analyst, Gene Munsteris, prediction of nine million iPods shipped for the quarter.
Macworld Expo in January may bring new products and services from Apple, and investors are focusing on that, coupled with holiday sales. Mr. Reitzes expects we may see new Macs, and new digital entertainment related products, content, and services.
UBS new estimate for annual earnings per share is going up from $1.85 to $2.10 for fiscal 2006, based on a 42 percent revenue growth to $19.8 billion, up from $18.1 billion. Fiscal 2007 has even higher expectations, with an estimated earning of $2.58 per share, up from $2.18. Annual revenue growth for 2007 is expected to be up 18 percent from $20.8 billion, to $23.3 billion.
UBS is raising its target value for Appleis stock from $74 to $86, expecting rapid growth and relatively high margins, compared to other computer manufacturers.
Apple is currently trading in the pre-market at $73.78, up 1.96 (2.73%) from Mondayis closing at $71.82.