The release of Microsoftis Windows Vista operating system may be impacting Mac sales now, but Apple should rebound and show an increase in growth over the next three quarters, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.
"Based on a second round of checks with 50 retail stores, we continue to expect Vista will cause Mac market share to decline from 2.5 percent in December to 2.3 percent in March," he said. "On a year over year basis, we expect Apple will gain share, up from 2.1 percent in March 2006."
Sales of Windows Vista, however, have fallen below expectations, and are continuing to slow.
Over the past two years, Apple shares have dropped 23 percent between January 15 and March 31, and then rebounded in following quarters. Given Appleis normal cycle, and the release of Windows Vista, the Mac and iPod makeris current lower stock price isnit a big concern for Mr. Munster. He expects that Apple will sell more than the predicted 1.45 million Macs for the quarter, and that the next three quarters will be strong for the company, allaying investor concerns.
Mr. Munster is rating Apple stock as "Outperform," with a target price at US$124. Apple is currently trading in the pre-market at $86.70, down 0.36 (0.41%).