Analysts Upbeat on iMac Refresh

Analysts Maynard Um of UBS and Brian White of Ticonderoga Securities are both upbeat on the iMac refresh announced earlier on Tuesday. Mr. Um bumped his estimates for Mac sales in the current quarter, while Mr. White believes Apple’s Mac business will be worth US$22.2 billion in fiscal 2011.

Both analysts noted that Apple was able to continue its long-term strategy of using Mac product refreshes to offer more performance at the same price point as the previous generation, the strategy that has allowed Apple to keep its computer business profitable.

“The refreshed iMacs are up to 70% faster than the previous iteration with Intel’s next-generation quad-core processors and up to 3x the graphics performance, but at similar price points,” Mr. White wrote in a research note to clients obtained by The Mac Observer. ” We still believe Apple is well positioned to gain share in the PC market.”

Mr. Um was more succinct, noting that, “Apple continues to provide more value and we expect it to continue to gain share in the PC market.”

He added that Apple released this iMac upgrade earlier in the year than it did in 2010, the last time the iMac was bumped. He wrote that, “We believe an accelerated refresh could provide upside to our FYQ3 unit estimates [of 100,000 more iMacs].

Both analysts reiterated their “Buy” ratings on AAPL, as well as their current, aggressive price targets. Mr. Um’s price target sits at $495 per share, above consensus estimates of $446, while Mr. White’s is even higher, at $612 per share.

Shares in Apple ended the day higher, closing at $348.20, up $1.92 (+0.55%), on light volume of 11.1 million shares trading hands.

*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a small share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.