“Apple Computer rallied [today] in speculative pre-open trade, boosting Nasdaq 100 futures,” Abby Deveney reports for CBS MarketWatch. “Analysts lifted their estimates for earnings and revenue growth at Apple Computer (AAPL) after the iPod maker’s fiscal first quarter came in well ahead of the estimates. J.P. Morgan is projecting March quarter earnings of 47 cents a share, up from its prior estimate at 34 cents a share. The broker now sees revenue at $3.035 billion, up from a view earlier at $3.007 billion. UBS raised its fiscal second quarter earnings per share estimate to 41 cents from an earlier 29 cents ‘to factor in higher sales of Macs & iPods…. We continue to believe that the iPod phenomenon is driving upside in Apple retail stores, sales of peripherals/accessories and now-Macs,’ the broker told clients. Apple shares were up 11 percent in European trade of U.S. stocks – in line with the surge late Wednesday after the PC maker’s quarterly report.”
“Soleil Securities upgraded Apple Computer to ‘buy’ from ‘hold.’ Analyst Shannon Cross raised his fiscal 2005 earnings estimate to $2.05 a share from $1.52 and his 2006 forecast to $2.22 a share from $1.79,” Deveney reports. “Prudential Sec. upgraded Apple Computer to ‘overweight’ from ‘neutral weight,’ the earnings report. Analyst Steven Fortuna also raised his stock price target to $93 from $75, lifted his 2005 earnings estimate to $2.15 a share from $1.65 and bumped up his revenue forecast to $12.9 billion from $11.8 billion.”
Deveney reports, “Bank of America also upgraded Apple Computer to a ‘buy’ from ‘neutral’ following the tech firm’s introduction of a cheaper iPod and an entry-level Mini Mac desk top computer. The broker raised Apple’s earnings per share estimates for 2005 to $1.87 from $1.64 and up to $2.16 from $1.95 for 2006.”
Full article here.
NASDAQ pre-market AAPL quote (15-minute delay) here.