UBS Raises Apple Earnings Estimate and Target Price

UBS Investment Research has raised its earnings estimate from US$0.35 to $0.37 for Appleis fourth fiscal quarter, which ended on September 24, 2005. Strong Mac sales, along with successful back-to-school promotions, are expected to account for a significant part of Appleis estimates 58% revenue growth. The firm also raised its target stock price from $64 to $65.

Analyst Ben Reitzes noted that UBS expects to see a 10% increase in iPod sales, compared to last quarter, and a 42% increase in Mac sales, compared to last year. The growth in Mac sales is due primarily to strong iBook and PowerBook sales.

Although iPod sales may have slowed somewhat during the last quarter, thanks to the transition from the iPod mini to the iPod nano, sales are likely to increase dramatically this quarter. Speculators are estimating that Apple may sell upwards of 10 million iPod nanos this quarter alone.

These are the types of speculations that are causing analysts to paint a rosy picture for Appleis future. Mr. Reitzes stated "Given our view that Mac momentum could continue & better availability of nanos could drive sales, we are raising our [first quarter 2006] estimate to $0.49 from $0.45 based on revenue growth of 33%.

Investors will get to find out how Apple really performed a day earlier than usual this quarter. Apple moved up the date of its financial conference call to Tuesday, October 11.

AAPL is trading lower in the Friday morning session, at 50.69, down 1.01 (-1.95%)

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