Analyst: Apple Surprises with Q1 Guidance

Apple has spent the last eight quarters guiding below financial analyst estimates, but not this quarter. American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu was surprised when Apple offered guidance above estimates for the December quarter.

During its fourth quarter earnings report on Monday, Apple offered guidance for its December quarter at US$9.2 billion in revenue with an EPS at $1.42, well above Wall Streetis $8.6 billion and $1.39.

"Appleis December quarter guidance was the biggest surprise," Mr. Wu said. "The last time Apple guided in-line to higher than consensus estimates was for the December 2005 quarter."

The Cupertino company had been consistently offering conservative guidance and then reporting earnings above its own guidance, and in some cases above analyst estimates.

For the September quarter, Apple shipped 2.2 million Macs, leapfrogging Wall Streetis optimizing 2 million estimate. The company also shipped more iPods than conservative 10 million estimates at 10.2 million.

Mr. Wu is maintaining his "Buy" rating for Appleis stock, but is raising his target price from $185 to $210. Apple is currently trading at $185.59, up 11.23 (6.44%).

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