Banc of America Maintains 'Buy' Rating on Apple, Sets $44 Target Price

Banc of America Securities analyst Keith Bachman on Friday reiterated his "Buy" rating on Appleis stock and set a US$44 12-month target price. In his latest research report, a copy of which was obtained by The Mac Observer, he hones in on Apple CEO Steve Jobsi June 6 keynote at the companyis Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which will be held next week in San Francisco. Mr. Bachman sees the introduction of new products during Mr. Jobsi keynote, likely in the form of higher capacity iPod shuffles "and potentially an iTunes-enabled cell phone with Motorola."

Mr. Bachman also notes that he thinks the eMac and iBook "are due for a refresh" but doesnit see that happening at WWDC. In addition, he believes that video capabilities have potential "on the systems side of the biz," but he doesnit see a video-enabled iPod being introduced at the event, nor does he expect Mr. Jobs to comment on recent speculation that Apple will port its Mac OS to x86 processors.

With that in mind, Mr. Bachman sums up his outlook: "If only new Shuffles come out next week, we donit see this as material catalyst for the stock. More material catalysts would include new iBook/eMac and comments on using x86 processors to materially lower systems cost."

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