UBS Warburg analyst Don Young has raised his 2002 and 3rd fiscal quarter estimates for Apple by 2 cents per share. Mr. Young expects Apple to turn in a profit of 14 cents per share, up from 12 cents, for the June Quarter, which helped push 2002is estimates to 56 cents, up from 54 cents. Mr. Young also reiterated his "Strong Buy" rating from Apple, and specifically said that Apple was no longer "in a battle for PC market share -- instead we see the platform becoming a premium PC capturing selective PC demand" (as quoted from a Reuters report).
Mr. Young cites decreasing component costs for Apple as part of his increase in profit estimates. More from the Reuters report:
"Appleis good fortune of having strong iMac demand and a large backlog backfired on the company when component costs rose and created pressure on gross margins," he wrote in a research note.
"Now with component costs and particularly DRAM rolling over Apple will see a gross margin benefit," he said referring to the memory chips used in personal computers.
"In addition, our retail channel tracking shows iPod sales building, indicating a potential upside to our June quarter unit forecast of 52,000 units," he wrote, referring to Appleis digital music player. "We no longer view Apple as in a battle for PC market share -- instead we see the platform becoming a premium PC capturing selective PC demand. We reiterate our strong buy rating."
Rising component costs were cited as one of the reasons Apple had lowered gross margin estimates during the March quarteris conference call for the June quarter (see TMO analysis for additional information). Since that time, component costs have began heading lower again.
As of this writing, Apple is trading lower at 24.62, down 0.39 (-1.56%), on moderate volume.
You can read the full article at Yahoo!is Web site.