UBS analyst Maynard Um thinks Apple's MacBook Pro lineup along with the iPhone 3GS will help the company show a strong September quarter, so he raised his AAPL target estimate to US$170 and added a short-term "Buy" rating as well.
"Although our concerns regarding the potential impact of broader economic weakness remain, a full quarter of MacBook Pro refreshes and iPhone 3GS expansion internationally should help the Sept quarter," he said. "From a catalyst perspective, a potential data-centric pdt at Verizon Wireless, potential iPod refreshes, and new wireless operators (China, Europe non-exclusives, etc) may help near term sentiment."
Mr. Um expects analysts will be watching Apple's gross margins closely during the September quarter. "Historically, fiscal year fourth quarter gross margins have been down sequentially, though may be offset by mix (more higher margin iPhone/less lower margin iPod sales)," he said.
Mac sales through Apple stores, along with potentially lower component prices will likely help the company's September numbers, too.
Mr. Um is rating Apple as "Neutral," and as a short-term "Buy." He raised his target price for the company's stock from $160 to $170, too. Apple is currently trading in the pre-market at $165.93, up .042 (.025%).