“Apple Computer reports fourth-quarter earnings later Tuesday, but it’s what the company says on Wednesday that may grab investors’ attention this week,” Troy Wolverton reports for TheStreet.com. “Apple has scheduled a press event Wednesday where analysts expect CEO Steve Jobs to unveil a new, video-enabled iPod music player. The move would mark a significant evolution for the iPod, which has rapidly become one of Apple’s most important products.”
Wolverton reports, “The focus on Wednesday is emblematic of investor attitudes toward the stock. The general assumption is that the company is doing well, but that notion is dwarfed by the anticipation of — or even concern about — what comes next. It’s not so much ‘What have you done for me lately?’ but ‘What will you do for me later?’”
“Wall Street is betting that Apple was on track with that growth in its fourth quarter, which ended last month. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call are expecting the company to post earnings of 37 cents a share for the quarter on $3.73 billion in sales,” Wolverton reports. “That projection is ahead of the company’s own estimates and would mark a big gain over last year’s results… But Wall Street has reason to be bullish. Apple has consistently delivered better-than-expected results in quarters of late. And recent data bode well for the just-completed one; studies indicate that Apple is gaining share in markets for PCs and digital-music players.”
“Through August, Apple’s share of the U.S. retail market for computers, excluding online sales, grew to 6.6% from 4.3% in the same period last year, according to market researcher NPD Group,” Wolverton reports. “And even without taking into account sales of the newly introduced iPod nano, Apple’s share of the U.S. retail market for digital-music players edged upward in recent months to 74%.”
Full article here.
Keep in mind that excluding online sales also excludes Dell. Note that it also excludes Apple’s online sales. The important fact is that NPD’s measure of Apple’s share was 4.3% in the year ago period and it has grown to 6.6% in a year.
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