“Apple Computer shares continued to reach levels on Monday not seen in more than four years, following a spate of new target prices and positive analyst views on the company and its outlook for the iPod and other products. Apple climbed $3.89, or more than 6 percent, to close at $68.44, with more than 30 million shares exchanged after Merrill Lynch, UBS and Banc of America Securities all raised their price targets on Apple’s stock. Apple shares are trading at their highest levels since June 2000,” Rex Crum reports for CBS MarketWatch.
“The Apple moves come less than a week after Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster set a $100 price target on Apple’s stock and said there were signs that the iPod was beginning to positively impact iMac sales… Merrill analyst Steven Milunovich raised his estimate on Apple to $78 a share from $61, saying the adoption rate of the iPod digital music player has outpaced that of Sony’s Walkman. The analyst said that the iPod could see greater growth next year, and believes Apple is preparing to release a flash memory version of the music player in early 2005… Milunovich believes Apple could soon release a so-called ‘entertainment server’ that would compete against other multimedia computers such as the Microsoft Windows Media Center devices sold by Hewlett-Packard, Gateway and Dell. Apple has so far not said anything about its next possible foray into consumer electronics,” Crum reports.
“UBS analyst Ben Reitzes raised his target price and estimates on Apple, saying the company’s story, ‘has legs into the holidays and beyond… we believe that iMac sales could have some upside into 2005.’ Reitzes said a ‘hand-off’ in iPod sales to the iMac should help Apple gain some ground in the PC market… Banc of America’s Keith Bachman… expects Apple to sell 4.1 million iPods in the December business quarter,” Crum reports.
Full article here.
As of this post, APPL stands at $68.56 in after hour trading.