Barclays Analyst Reiterates "Overweight" Rating for AAPL

Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes has reiterated an "Overweight" rating for shares in Apple Inc. In a research note to clients obtained by The Mac Observer, Mr. Reitzes said that continued checks with retail and other sources continue to point to a solid September quarter, which will be reported Monday, October 19th.

As analysts await Apple's quarterly numbers, several have released research notes either bumping up target prices (Mr. Reitzes did so early in September) or upgrading ratings, with most expecting Apple to report well above the company's conservative guidance of some US$8.8 billion in revenue for the quarter.

Mr. Reitzes own estimates are currently for revenue of $10.8 billion and earnings per share estimates of $2.27. In his research note, he told clients that Apple could make even those estimates appear conservative.

The star of Apple's conference call, however, is likely to be the role that recent accounting rules changes will have on Apple's results. Those rules changes mean that Apple will no longer have to account for iPhone revenues over a 24-month period, but rather at the time of the sale, a change that should make Apple's results more transparent to investors.

"We believe the key focus of Apple's results will be color around the recent FASB decision about changing iPhone accounting, traction of iPhone 3GS including the outlook for adding more carriers, gross margin guidance, and the level of enthusiasm around new products in 2010 including the widely expected tablet device," he wrote.

Mr. Reitzes price target remains at $208 per share, with an "Overweight" rating on the stock.

Shares in AAPL edged lower in Tuesday trading. In the afternoon session, the shares are currently trading at $190.09 per share, down $0.72 (-0.38%), on moderate volume.

*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.