Analyst: 'Slight Downside' to iPod Sales Without a Refresh

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster on Tuesday issued a new research report in which he looked at the first month of iPod sales data from NPD for the current quarter, concluding that it points to sales of 8 million units, below his estimate of 8.6 million. "When the data is released [for August]," he wrote, "our analysis will likely lead to a slightly different iPod unit figure than what our analysis suggests based on the first month of data."

However, he noted: "We believe that Apple can still meet our and Street estimates if a new iPod ships by quarter end. We currently expect Apple will ship a new or updated iPod nano by the end of the September quarter. Without a new iPod this quarter, we expect slight downside to our estimate, as suggested by NPD data."

Mr. Munster also pointed out: "The 8.0m unit number is based on various assumptions and is an extrapolation of one month of data, so we believe investors should supplement this data point with other information."

The analyst retained his "Outperform" rating on Appleis stock, with a US$99 price target. At 2:39 PM EST on Tuesday, the companyis shares were selling for $65.94, down 1.55% for the day.

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