Apple Hot Pick for 2006, Winner in 2005

Apple Computeris continued growth in the digital entertainment market helped to drive its stock value up 131 percent in 2005, according to CNNMoney. For the second year in a row, Apple topped CNNMoneyis list of best performing S&P stocks.

Appleis growth both years is credited to the iPod, considered the most popular MP3 player on the market. The iTunes Music Store (iTMS) also accounts for the majority of growth in the legitimate music download market. Those two products combined are now helping to increase interest and sales of the Macintosh computer line.

Analysts expect Appleis climb to continue, predicting a 47 percent increase in profit for the fourth quarter. Apple will make the announcements at its quarterly earnings report on January 16, 2006.

The top five stocks for the year all showed significant increases in value, and include Apple (+131%), Valere Energy (+124%), Express Scripts (+123%), Humana (+83%), and Office Depot (+80%).

The worst five performing stocks for the year all dropped in value significantly. That list includes Dana (-61%), Gateway (-59%), General Motors (-53%), Sanmina-SCI Corp (-49%), and LexMark International (-48%).

Apple is currently trading at US$70.52 down 0.92 (1.29%).

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